Germany clarifies it will arrest Israel PM Netanyahu over war crimes

Israel’s Ambassador to Berlin, Ron Prosor, was rebuffed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government on Wednesday after the envoy made a dramatic appeal on X, formerly Twitter, to the Federal government to reject the ICC’s legitimacy fully. Scholz’s spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, was asked on Wednesday if the German government would execute an ICC arrest order against Prime Minister Netanyahu for alleged war crimes during Swords of Iron. Hebestreit said, “Of course. Yes, we abide by the law.” Three European countries to recognize a Palestinian state Norway, Ireland and Spain announced on Wednesday that they would recognise an independent Palestinian state on May 28, saying they hoped other Western countries would follow suit. It prompted Israel to recall its ambassadors. “In the middle of a war, with tens of thousands of dead and injured, we must keep alive the only thing that can provide a safe home for both Israelis and Palestinians: two states that can live in peace with each other,” Stoere told a press conference, our colleagues Nerijus Adomaitis and Gwladys Fouche write. Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the move was aimed at accelerating efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. “We hope that our recognition and our reasons contribute to other western countries to follow this path because the more we are, the more strength we will have to impose a ceasefire, to achieve the release of the hostages held by Hamas, to relaunch the political process that can lead to a peace agreement,” he said in a speech to the country’s lower house. Ministers from Arab states will meet with European Union counterparts in Brussels on Monday to try to forge a common path on ending the war in Gaza and build lasting peace, a senior EU official said. Representatives from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will join a regular meeting of foreign ministers from the 27-member EU, said Sven Koopmans, the EU’s special representative for the Middle East peace process. Koopmans said the gathering was one of a series at which Arab and European countries were seeking common positions on ways to end the fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas. “Our assignment is to see how we can build a coalition where we try collectively to contribute (to peace efforts) without putting people in a corner,” Koopmans told Reuters. The EU has been riven by divisions over the war in Gaza, which followed Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Those divisions were on show again on Wednesday when EU members Spain and Ireland – along with Norway – said they would recognise a Palestinian state while France and Germany made clear they did not think the time was right.