(SOURCE) As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas mulls applying for membership in the International Criminal Court as a way to press charges against Israel for alleged war crimes, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders on Wednesday that Hamas was guilty of two types of war crimes.
“Hamas is committing a double war crime by intentionally trying to hit Israeli citizens, and using the local Gaza population as human shields,” Netanyahu said. As a result, Hamas should be held responsible for the unintentional killing of civilians in Gaza, he said.
The prime minister repeated that message in conversations held in Israel on Wednesday as well with German Chancellor Angel Merkel and US Secretary of State John Kerry.
These conversations were part of Netanyahu’s efforts to garner international understanding and support for its actions in Gaza, even as Palestinian casualties – including the numbers of civilians killed unintentionally – is rising.
The prime minister is expected to have more conversations with world leaders on Thursday.
One leader he has not yet spoken to, and indeed has not spoken to for months, is US President Barack Obama.
Obama, in an op-ed to appear on Thursday in the German weekly Die Zeit, called on both sides to show restraint.
“At this time of danger, everyone involved must protect the innocent and act in a sensible and measured way, not with revenge and retaliation,” Obama wrote.