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Trudeau must more publicly support ICC decisions amid Israel-Hamas war: ex-ministers

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OTTAWA -

A group of prominent former politicians and current academics is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to change his tone on the possibility of arrest warrants for senior Israeli leaders.

In a joint letter, the group calls on Trudeau to stop suggesting the International Criminal Court is committing false equivalency by requesting charges against leaders of both Hamas and Israel.

Former foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy and former attorney general Allan Rock are among dozens who say Trudeau's comments undermine his stated support for the court.

The ICC's chief prosecutor requested arrest warrants last week for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defence minister, as well as three senior Hamas leaders.

Trudeau didn't comment on the request itself but instead raised concerns about what he called "an equivalency between the democratically elected leaders of Israel and the bloodthirsty terrorists."

The joint letter has 375 signatures, including from former Canadian ambassadors, lawyers and activists who want Trudeau to issue a statement of "unwavering" support for the court.

They say this should include a pledge to co-operate with any requests, including for arrests, and to condemn threats against the court's judges.

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