Displaced Palestinian children line up to receive food in southern Gaza's Rafah
Displaced Palestinian children line up to receive food in southern Gaza's Rafah AFP

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has denied that there was any "equivalence" between the actions of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders, even as he side-stepped commenting on the ICC chief prosecutor seeking arrest warrants for the Israeli and Hamas leaders.

"There is no equivalence between Hamas the terrorist organization and Israel, we have made it really clear in condemning the actions of Hamas on October 7, we have made it very clear we want to see hostages released, and we want to see the Israeli response comply completely with international humanitarian law," ABC News quoted Chalmers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had refused to comment on the issue on Tuesday, saying it was a court process.

"I don't comment on court processes in Australia, let alone court processes globally, that which Australia is not a party," he said.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has sought arrest warrants for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton was quick to criticize the ICC, calling it "utterly repugnant to compare the Israeli prime minister to a terrorist organization leader."

On Wednesday, Dutton threatened that the coalition government could pull out Australia from the world court. He demanded the Australian Prime Minister take a strong stand against the ICC and put pressure on it to reverse its "terrible decision," AAP reported.

Opposition frontbencher Jane Hume said Australia should have joined the United Kingdom and United States in criticizing the ICC prosecutor's request. Former prime minister Scott Morrison stated the world court has surrendered "its legitimacy in creating a moral equivalence between terrorists and a nation."

However, the head of the Australian Centre for International Justice, Rawan Arraf, supported the move. "Welcome step to end Israel's entrenched impunity and to hold those responsible for the commission of international crimes accountable and to bring them to justice," she said.

According to The Guardian report, the ICC does not have an enforcement mechanism, but if an arrest warrant is issued, the member countries would be obliged to arrest the indicted, and the non-member countries too may be pressurized to arrest them.

Khan has said that he may apply for more arrest warrants as his office is investigating on multiple fronts, especially the allegations of sexual violence committed during the Oct. 7attacks.