Argentina rejects ICC orders against Israeli officials

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that Argentina rejected the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

On Monday, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan asked the ICC to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, as well as Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh and Mohammed Deif.

The Argentine Foreign Ministry condemned the equation of “the legitimate authorities of a democratic State” with the terrorist organization Hamas.

The Foreign Ministry rejected that equation and said that the decision calls into question Israel’s right to self-defense, which Argentina reaffirmed and defended.

Argentina also criticized the decision for overlooking the independence of the Israeli judicial system, which is supposed to be given the opportunity to act on charges before the ICC issues arrest warrants.

“The prosecutor appears to have overlooked the work of the Israeli courts in investigating the alleged acts and has not given the local judiciary the opportunity to perform its role with all relevant guarantees.”

Argentine anti-Semitism ambassador Fabiana Loguzzo (second from left) meeting with hostage families at the Latin American office of the Wiesenthal Center in Buenos Aires. (credit: SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER)

Argentina expressed frustration with the Prosecutor’s decision, calling it useless and saying it would not help free the hostages.

“The Argentine Government considers that the behavior of the Prosecutor does not contribute to improving the situation, but rather further hinders efforts to achieve the release of the hostages still held captive by Hamas, allow access to humanitarian aid and reach a solution to long term.

Milei is a strong supporter of Israel

President Javier Milei has been a strong supporter of Israel since his inauguration in December, and even visited the country in early February, when he promised to move the Argentine embassy to Jerusalem.

He has periodically reaffirmed Argentina’s geopolitical alignment with the United States and Israel and has offered his “undeniable” solidarity to Israel, according to the Buenos Aires Times.

Milei has periodically expressed his desire to convert to Judaism; However, his personal spiritual advisor, Rabbi Axel Wahnish, convinced him to wait until the end of his term as president. Even before his victory, Milei had begun studying the Torah and preparing to convert.

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