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ICC Judges Issue Arrest Warrant For Vladimir Putin Over Alleged War Crimes



The International Criminal Court on Friday announced it had issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children.

The Hague-based ICC said it had also issued a warrant against Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, on similar charges.

Russia is not a member of the ICC. It was unclear how the ICC planned to enforce the warrant.

“Today, pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova,” the ICC said in a statement.

Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

The ICC said the crimes dated from February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes,” it said.

Putin was allegedly responsible both directly by committing the acts and for “failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission.”

The arrest warrants are being kept secret to protect victims and witnesses, it said.

The ICC is a court of last resort for crimes that countries cannot or will not prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan launched an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine just days after Russia’s invasion.

– ‘Spoils of war’ –

Khan said earlier this month after a visit to Ukraine that the alleged abductions of children “are being investigated by my office as a priority”.

“Children cannot be treated as the spoils of war,” he said in a statement on March 7.

Posting a picture of himself alongside empty cots, Khan said he had visited a care home for children in southern Ukraine that was “empty, a result of alleged deportation of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation” or other occupied areas.

Khan also confirmed that the ICC was investigating attacks on “critical civilian infrastructure” in Ukraine and that he had visited the sites of several such strikes.

Along with Ukraine’s prosecutor general “we underlined our collective commitment to ensure that such acts are fully investigated and those responsible for alleged international crimes held to account,” he added.

The ICC prosecutor added in the statement that he had a “sense that the momentum towards justice is accelerating.”

Khan has previously described Ukraine as a “crime scene”, and has also visited the town of Bucha where AFP journalists saw at least 20 bodies lying in a street.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, but Kyiv has accepted the court’s jurisdiction and is working with Khan’s office.

Russia denies allegations of war crimes by its troops. Experts have said it is unlikely it would ever hand over any suspects.



Foreign News

Enough Is Enough: Pope Francis Calls For Ceasefire In Israel-Hamas War




Pope Francis, has waded into the ongoing attacks and violence in Israel and Gaza, saying the killings that had claimed children and women among others.

The leader of the Roman Catholic church, called for humanitarian corridors to allow the delivery of food, water and fuel to the Gaza Strip, which is under heavy Israeli bombardment following a bloody attack by Hamas last weekend

In the eight days since Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,300 Israelis in their attack, Israel has responded with a devastating bombing campaign that had claimed over 2,300 lives in Gaza.

According to reports, conditions in Gaza hospitals were so critical that health workers had begun to store bodies in ice cream freezer trucks because moving them to hospitals has become too risky plus cemeteries have become full.

Pope, speaking after his traditional Angelus prayer in Rome’s Saint Peter’s Square, on Sunday, October 15, said;

“Humanitarian law must be respected, especially in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to guarantee humanitarian corridors and help the population.

“I strongly urge that children, the sick, the elderly, women and all civilians should not fall victim to the conflict.

“There have already been so many deaths, please let’s not shed any more innocent blood, not in the Holy Land, not in Ukraine, not anywhere else. Enough is enough. War is always a defeat,” he said, castigating “the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war.”

Pope Francis also renewed his call “for the release of the hostages” kidnapped by Hamas fighters in southern Israel and invited “all believers to unite in prayer with the Church in the Holy Land”

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday, vowed to “demolish Hamas” as his military prepared to move into the Gaza Strip in search of Islamist militants, whose deadly rampage through Israeli border towns shocked the world.

Israel has told Gazans to evacuate toward the South, which hundreds of thousands had already done in the enclave that was home to more than two million people, about half in Gaza City.

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Foreign News

Israel Pounding Hamas, Will Obliterate hem – Prime Minister Netanyahu Vows




The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has vowed to obliterate Hamas and emerge triumphant in the ongoing war.

Netanyahu said Israeli forces are pounding Hamas with brute force, adding that they just started paying the price.

The Prime Minister disclosed this in a statement following a security assessment at Kirya in Tel Aviv.

According to him, “Citizens of Israel, Shabbat Shalom. Shabbat shalom to our forces deployed across the country, who are celebrating the Sabbath in the field, far from home.

“And we are fighting tooth and nail: soldiers, police officers, citizens, security forces, health personnel and rescue teams — and Israel’s citizens, with your extraordinary volunteering spirit that has touched the world.

“We are all mobilized, we are all united. We will never forget the horrific acts perpetrated against us by our enemies.

“We will never forget the horrific acts perpetrated by our enemies and we will never forgive. We will not allow the world, or anyone, to forget these horrors, the likes of which the Jewish people have not endured in decades.

“We are pounding our enemies with unprecedented force, and I stress, this is only the beginning. Our enemies have only just begun to pay the price. I will not detail our plans, but I tell you, this is only the beginning.

“We will obliterate Hamas, we will triumph. It might take time, but we will end this war stronger than ever. “May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them.”

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Foreign News

Israel-Hamas War: Iran Tells Israel To Stop Before ‘It’s Too Late’




Iran on Saturday warned Israel to immediately halt its “war crimes” against Gaza or it could face “a huge earthquake” of resistance.

More than 320 Palestinians have been killed in the past 24 hours, including many women and children in Israeli air raids on convoys fleeing Gaza City, according to health officials.

The rising death toll comes as Israel continues bombing Gaza a day after telling 1.1million residents to head south ahead of a looming ground offensive following Hamas’s attack inside Israel last week.

At least 2,215 Palestinians have been killed and 8,714 wounded in Israeli air attacks on Gaza. The number of people killed in Israel has reached 1,300, with more than 3,400 wounded. The Palestinian health ministry said Israeli airstrikes had killed 724 children by yesterday, of the over 2,000 Palestinians killed in the past week.

In the occupied West Bank, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in the past week has topped 50. More than 1,000 have been wounded and hundreds arrested.

The Israeli military said it was planning an attack by land, air and sea, according to a statement, but gave no timing or specifics.

Daily Trust on Sunday reports that Israel has warned 1.1m Palestinians living in northern Gaza to evacuate to south; and thousands have been fleeing by vehicles or on foot.

The United Nations has said it is “impossible” for 1.1m Palestinians, about half of the 2.3million people in Gaza to evacuate because there is no place to go.

Meanwhile, BBC Verify has confirmed that women and children were killed when a strike hit their vehicles as they headed away from northern Gaza

This is as thousands of Palestinians sought refuge yesterday after Israel warned them to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip ahead of an expected ground offensive against Hamas, one week after the deadliest attack in Israel’s history.

The alarm has grown over the fate of Palestinian civilians in blockaded and besieged Gaza – one of the world’s most densely populated areas – if it becomes the scene of intense urban combat and house-to-house fighting.

“The situation in Gaza has reached a dangerous new low,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, adding, “Even wars have rules,” he added, stressing that “civilians must be protected and also never used as shields.”

Israel, which has vowed to destroy Hamas, has massed ground forces and tanks around Gaza, dropped leaflets in the north of the enclave telling civilians to flee and staged “localised” raids.

The raids have also sought to locate “missing persons” inside Gaza, the military said, as Hamas has been holding some 150 hostages, whose families have been protesting inside Israel for the release of their relatives.

Al Quds Hospital defies Israeli evacuation order

As thousands flee northern Gaza towards the south, Al Quds Hospital, one of the overstretched health facilities operated by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), refused to follow the orders of the Israeli government that it should evacuate by 4pm local time yesterday.

In a statement posted on the organisation’s X 9, formerly Twitter) handle, the PRCS – equivalent to the Red Cross in many countries – said it would continue with its mandate to attend to the sick and the wounded.

“PRCS-Al Quds Hospital is offering live-saving services to a large number of Palestinian patients and the wounded, including critical cases in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and children in incubators, in addition to hundreds of civilians who took refuge at the hospital.

“Accordingly, PRCR cannot evacuate the hospital, and by its mandate is bound to continue the provision of services to the sick and wounded,” the statement noted in part.

North Gaza resident: ‘We prefer to die in dignity’

Meanwhile, it remains unclear how many Palestinians have stayed in northern Gaza after Israel ordered all 1.1million there to leave immediately.

“What we know is that hundreds of thousands of people have fled. And one million people have been displaced in total in one week,” said Juliette Touma, a spokesperson for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

A Gaza resident, Rami Swailem said he and at least five families in his building decided to stay put in his apartment near Gaza City. “We are rooted in our lands. We prefer to die in dignity and face our destiny.”

An estimated 35,000 displaced civilians have crammed into the grounds of Gaza City’s main hospital, sitting under trees in the empty grounds, as well as inside the building’s lobby and corridors, hoping they would be protected from the attacks.

“People think this is the only safe space after their homes were destroyed and they were forced to flee. Gaza City is a frightening scene of devastation,” said Dr Medhat Abbas, a health ministry official.

With no aid in sight, Gaza doctors warn of humanitarian disaster

Doctors at Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in Gaza City, have warned of an impending infectious disease outbreak due to overcrowding.

“There are thousands – if not tens of thousands – of people who have flocked to the hospital,” surgeon Ghassan Abu Sitta told Al Jazeera.

“They are sleeping on the ground, in the corridors between patients’ beds. People are absolutely terrified. They think this is the safest place, and everything around them confirms that.

“Unless there is respite there is going to be a public health catastrophe at the hospital,” he said.

Thousands of Pro-Palestinian protesters march in UK, US

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters yesterday took to the streets across the United Kingdom (UK), including in London and Manchester.

In London, more than 1,000 police officers were deployed as crowds marched from the BBC’s New Broadcasting House to Downing Street.

The Met Police said seven people had been arrested, including one for criminal damage and two for public order offences.

The protest came a week after Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel.

Similarly, thousands of people also marched in New York City to support Palestinians and raise awareness about Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip.

Protests were seen across multiple neighbourhoods in the sprawling United States city, with demonstrators chanting “Free Palestine” and calling for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land.


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