China urges objectivity from ICC amid arrest warrant requests for Israeli and Hamas Leaders

This appeal from China comes in response to ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan’s announcement on Monday, where he sought arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and three prominent Hamas figures, including its leader Yahya Sinwar.

China has called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to maintain an objective stance following the court’s chief prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants targeting Israeli and Hamas leaders.

This appeal from China comes in response to ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan’s announcement on Monday, where he sought arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and three prominent Hamas figures, including its leader Yahya Sinwar. The charges relate to alleged crimes committed during the October 7 attack and the subsequent Israeli military operations in Gaza.

“It is hoped that the ICC will uphold its objective and impartial position and exercise its powers in accordance with the law,” stated Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. He emphasized the need to end the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” aligning with China’s longstanding advocacy for Palestinian rights and sovereignty.

The request by Prosecutor Khan comes amid escalating tensions and violence between Israel and Hamas, following a significant attack by Hamas on October 7, which triggered extensive Israeli military retaliation in Gaza. The conflict has resulted in substantial civilian casualties and widespread destruction, drawing international condemnation and calls for accountability from various quarters.

Israel has firmly rejected the ICC’s jurisdiction over its actions, arguing that it is not a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC. The Israeli government has consistently labelled the court’s investigations as biased and politically motivated. Similarly, Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States and the European Union, has dismissed the ICC’s actions, framing them as part of a broader international effort to undermine Palestinian resistance.

The ICC’s pursuit of high-profile leaders in this context marks a significant development in international efforts to address alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. As the situation unfolds, the court’s ability to navigate the legal and political challenges will be closely watched by the global community, with hopes that justice and accountability can contribute to a lasting resolution to the conflict.