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There is no genocide in Gaza – Biden

The US leader has promised to “always stand with Israel”

US President Joe Biden has rejected any notion that Israel’s ongoing military operation in Gaza could be described as genocide, and reiterated Washington’s support for West Jerusalem’s push to eliminate Hamas as he hosted a Jewish American Heritage month event at the White House.

On Monday, ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant – as well as Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, and Ismail Haniyeh – of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Speaking at the White House later in the day, President Biden condemned the ICC move as well as separate allegations by the UN’s International Court of Justice that Israel’s actions in Gaza could be genocidal.

“Let me be clear, contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening is not genocide. We reject that,” Biden said.

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On October 7, Hamas fighters carried out an incursion into Israel, which resulted in about 1,200 people being killed and 250 taken hostage. The Israeli government responded by launching a large-scale military operation in Gaza, which according to the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry, killed over 35,000 people and left almost 80,000 others wounded. Israel has vowed to continue the offensive until Hamas is completely eliminated.

“We stand with Israel to take out Sinwar and the rest of the butchers of Hamas,” Biden said on Monday. “We want Hamas defeated. We’ve worked with Israel to make that happen.”

Back in January, an interim ruling by the ICJ, the UN’s top court in The Hague, ordered Israel to take steps to prevent genocide and improve humanitarian conditions for Gaza’s population. The lawsuit, filed by South Africa late last year, accuses West Jerusalem of committing systematic war crimes in the Palestinian region. Ireland announced in March that it would support Pretoria’s case, calling Israel’s actions in Gaza a “blatant violation of international humanitarian law on a mass scale.” Last week, Egypt also called on Israel to “comply with its obligations as the occupying power.”

May 21, 2024 at 05:25AM

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