The Latest | France and Belgium support ICC request for arrest warrants of Israel and Hamas leaders

France and Belgium released statements supporting the world's top war crimes court's request for arrest warrants for leaders of Israel and Hamas, after Israel and the United States both harshly condemned the effort.
ICC request for arrest warrants of Israel and Hamas leaders
ICC request for arrest warrants of Israel and Hamas leaders

Jerusalem | France and Belgium released statements supporting the world's top war crimes court's request for arrest warrants for leaders of Israel and Hamas, after Israel and the United States both harshly condemned the effort.

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders — Yehya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. While Netanyahu and Gallant do not face imminent arrest, the announcement Monday was a symbolic blow that deepened Israel's isolation over the war in Gaza.

Israeli forces raided a militant stronghold Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, killing at least seven and wounding several, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The raid into Jenin is part of months of surging violence in the Palestinian territory.

Sri Lanka announced a national day of mourning Tuesday after Iranian officials announced that President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were found dead Monday, hours after their helicopter crashed in fog, leaving the Islamic Republic without two key leaders. Iran backs Hamas, and the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, also supported by Tehran, has fired rockets at Israel. In April, Iran launched its own an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel.

Israel launched its offensive after Hamas' October 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed about 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

At least 35,000 Palestinians have died in the war, according to Gaza's Health Ministry, which doesn't distinguish between combatants and civilians. Around 80 per cent of the population of 2.3 million Palestinians has been displaced within the territory, often multiple times.

Currently:

— Iran's president and foreign minister die in a helicopter crash.

— ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Netanyahu.

— These photos show Palestinians' quick exodus from Rafah after Israel issued evacuation orders.

— Israeli forces kill at least seven Palestinians in a West Bank raid.

Here's the latest:

ISRAELI FORCES KILL 7 IN A RAID ON A WEST BANK MILITANT STRONGHOLD, PALESTINIAN HEALTH MINISTRY SAYS JERUSALEM

Israeli forces raided a militant stronghold Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, killing at least seven and wounding several, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The Israeli military said it struck militants during an operation into the city. In addition to the seven fatalities, the Palestinian Health Ministry said nine people were injured. Among those killed was Dr. Ossayed Kamal Jabareen, the surgery specialist at Jenin Governmental Hospital who was killed on his way to his work, according to Dr. Wissam Abu Baker, the hospital's director.

The raid was ongoing and the casualty numbers could rise.

The raid into Jenin is part of months of surging violence in the Palestinian territory. Nearly 500 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank since the start of the war in Gaza, part of an Israeli crackdown on militancy in the territory. Attacks by Palestinians against Israelis have also increased.

Saraya al-Quds, the military arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, said its fighters battled Israeli forces raiding Jenin.

Israel has arrested more than 3,000 Palestinians since the start of the war.

FRANCE AND BELGIUM SUPPORT WAR CRIMES COURT'S REQUEST FOR ARREST WARRANTS

France and Belgium each released statements supporting the world's top war crimes court's request for arrest warrants for leaders of Israel and Hamas.

International Criminal Court top prosecutor Karim Khan accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders — Yehya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. While Netanyahu and Gallant do not face imminent arrest, the announcement Monday was a symbolic blow that deepened Israel's isolation over the war in Gaza.

“France supports the International Criminal Court, its independence, and the fight against impunity in all situations,” its Foreign Ministry said in a statement late Monday, around the same time Belgium Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib posted on X, “Crimes committed in Gaza must be prosecuted at the highest level, regardless of the perpetrators," along with a statement.

Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders condemned the move as disgraceful and antisemitic. United States President Joe Biden also lambasted the prosecutor and supported Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas.

SRI LANKA DECLARES NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING FOR IRANIAN PRESIDENT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Sri Lankan government declared Tuesday a national mourning day for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The government also ordered all state institutions to hoist the national flag at half-staff.

Raisi visited Sri Lanka in April to inaugurate a long-delayed hydropower and irrigation project. The project, valued at USD 514 million, was started in 2010. It was scheduled for completion in 2015 but was delayed by the sanctions, technical issues and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raisi was the first Iranian leader to visit Sri Lanka since then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited in 2008.

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