Israel is waging ‘war of revenge’ on Gaza, Palestinian minister says

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THE HAGUE – Israel is waging a “war of revenge” on Gaza aimed at its total destruction, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Thursday, as Israeli troops bombard the Palestinian enclave in response to the devastating Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

Israel said its ground forces had pushed into Gaza overnight to attack Hamas targets as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was “preparing for a ground invasion” that could be one of several.

“So many wars have taken place (in Gaza), this is different. This time it’s a war of revenge,” al-Maliki told reporters in The Hague.

“This war has no real objective, rather than the total destruction of every livable place in Gaza. This war is not directed by military plans, there are no norms respected. All international rules of war are violated.”

Gaza is reeling from almost three weeks of Israeli bombardment, which was triggered by a mass killing spree in southern Israel by the Iranian-backed Hamas militants who run Gaza. Israel says it has the right to defend itself.

Al-Maliki urged international leaders to press Israel for a full ceasefire to make sure urgently needed humanitarian aid can be brought into Gaza.

At a summit in Brussels, EU leaders on Thursday are expected to limit their plea to “pauses” in bombardments, but al-Maliki said this was unacceptable, as it would not ensure aid could come in and water and electricity supplies be reinstated.

During his visit to The Hague, al-Maliki visited the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is investigating alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity on Palestinian territory from 2014 onwards.

Two weeks ago, prosecutor Khan told Reuters the court has jurisdiction over potential war crimes carried out by Hamas militants in Israel and Israelis in the Gaza Strip, even though Israel is not a member state.

“Israel, by cutting electricity, water and fuel, by forcing people to starvation, by forcibly transferring people, is committing war crimes,” al-Maliki said.

“What we are seeking is accountability.” REUTERS

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