Both Hamas and Israel should look themselves in the mirror

The whole world was shocked when Israeli children, parents and older people were attacked. The whole world is watching in disbelief as children are dying in Gaza. The death of children in all the world's wars is an unspeakable tragedy. A tragedy that has to end.

Presidential Palace, 15 Nov 2023


Killing civilians, including children, the most helpless and vulnerable among us, is a crime. It is a heinous act. It is no longer just the responsibility of the individual country; it is becoming our shared responsibility. Such attacks are an assault on our basic common humanity and are a concern for all of us.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court sanctions direct attacks against civilians and children as war crimes. If such violations are systematic, they are also sanctioned as crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Court has clear levers to act in cases of the recruitment of children into armed forces or in cases of crimes against children as civilians. The latter is the case in Gaza, where over half the population is under 18.

I therefore welcome the launch of the investigation in Gaza by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and support him in his work. Collecting and preserving evidence will be very important. I trust that the investigation will be performed well.

To violently assert one's right at the expense of the lives of innocent people, even newborn and premature babies, is incomprehensible. I join the Secretary-General of the United Nations in calling on both parties to immediately cease attacks against the civilian population and children of Gaza. Even wars have rules that apply to everyone.

Failing to act makes us complicit in the deaths of children in Gaza. They need our help now. And both Hamas and Israel should look themselves in the mirror.