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The international criminal court must be allowed to carry out its work “without intimidation”, a group of 93 states has said in a significant public intervention intended to reinforce support for the judicial body.

In a joint statement issued late on Friday, the large group of ICC member states vowed to defend the institution and “preserve its integrity from any political interference and pressure against the court, its officials and those cooperating with it”.

The show of unity for the court and its staff comes in the wake of revelations published by the Guardian about efforts by Israel and its intelligence agencies to undermine, influence and intimidate the court as part of a nine-year campaign of surveillance and espionage.

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Until she was taken out of the house, Porat identified nine living hostages. She wasn't a witness to the close-range shooting of any of the hostages, or to any of them being hit in the exchange of fire. "I didn't see anyone execute anyone," she says. "I didn't see a body." That is compatible with what Hadas Dagan said – she was held in the house until the end of the event and saw only two hostages who were not alive. "Long before the two [tank] shells, Adi and I saw that two were no longer with us," she says.

Porat: "At one point I went to sit in a jeep with one of the Shin Bet [security service] men, and suddenly I see a tank moving along the road." The driver of the tank was Armored Corps officer Col. Nissim Hazan. A few hours earlier, Hazan had located the tank, which was damaged, in the area of the Re'im party. Hazan pulled a dead soldier out of the tank, rendered it serviceable, collected a pickup crew and asked on the radio, "Where do you need me?" At Be'eri, he was told. Hazan arrived at the entry gate of the kibbutz and was directed to Pesi Cohen's house.

"I understood that this tank wasn't like another bullet that's fired from a rifle," Porat relates. "So I asked: If you fire shells, won't the hostages be hurt? And the Shin Bet man told me, 'No, we only shoot at the sides, take down walls.' I believed him."

Lt. Col. Salman Habaka, a battalion commander in the Armored Corps, entered Be'eri with three tanks, all of which operated in other parts of the kibbutz. Habaka was killed last November in a battle in the northern Gaza Strip. However, testimony he gave before his death indicates that firing tank shells at homes in Be'eri was quite a routine practice that day – by order of Hiram Barak.

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For months, Tsav 9 activists have organized to block convoys, harass aid workers and damage aid trucks as well as goods meant to alleviate pervasive hunger and suffering in Gaza. The group’s name means Order 9 in Hebrew, a reference to the military’s order calling up reservists.

The announcement by the State Department of the financial restrictions on Tsav 9 cites a May 13 incident in which activists looted and then set fire to two trucks in the West Bank carrying aid bound for Gaza.

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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.world/post/16560683

A joint statement calls on "all States to ensure full co-operation with the Court for it to carry out its important mandate of ensuring equal justice for all victims of genocide, war crimes, [and] crimes against humanity."

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The Royal Canadian Navy now finds itself in the unusual position of both shadowing Russian warships as a threat in the Caribbean and sharing an anchorage with them as a guest in the port of Havana — because Canada accepted an invitation to send a patrol ship to Cuba while the Russian navy is in town.

And it's not clear just who in government or the military knew about the invitation from Cuba. The Caribbean nation has been a full-throated supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine and Cubans have been fighting alongside Russian soldiers in that country.

A spokesperson for the Department of National Defence (DND) told CBC News on Friday that the department was aware the Russians would be in Havana port on the same days as the Canadians.

But when asked about the visit on CBC's Power and Politics on Thursday evening, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly told host David Cochrane she knew nothing about it.

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Catherine took part in a ceremonial parade to celebrate the birthday of her father-in-law, King Charles III.

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Israel's assassination of a top Hezbollah field commander on Tuesday has raised, once again, concerns over a wider Israeli war in Lebanon after months of clashes.

Hezbollah, the powerful Iran-backed Lebanese movement, fired over 200 missiles into Israel in retaliation and has vowed to intensify its attacks following the killing of Taleb Sami Abdallah.

Since then, the Lebanese movement has proven itself capable of downing several advanced Hermes 900 drones, firing anti-aircraft missiles against Israeli jets, which it claims forced them to retreat, and even carrying out a symbolic strike against an Iron Dome air defence unit.

"Hezbollah is becoming more audacious, and I think the Israelis are surprised by this," said Amal Saad, a Hezbollah expert and lecturer in politics at Cardiff University.

"They know what it has, its arsenal, but they didn't think it would have the audacity to use them, at least not for Gaza," she told Middle East Eye, suggesting that Israel expected the Lebanese movement to reserve such weapons for a direct war with Lebanon.

This escalation, experts say, is likely linked to the political deadlock over Gaza ceasefire negotiations.

On 31 May, US President Joe Biden presented what he called an Israeli ceasefire plan, which shares similarities with a proposal accepted by Hamas weeks ago. Israel, however, refuses to sign up to any proposal that definitively ends the war, something Hamas insists on.

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