MADRID (Reuters) -European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday some European countries were trying to intimidate International Criminal Court judges over a case against Israeli leaders, and must stop "meddling" and respect the court.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan announced on Monday that he had filed for arrest warrants against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three Hamas leaders.

"The prosecutor has done nothing more than make an accusation and the court will decide," Borrell told Spanish broadcaster TVE. "In the meantime, I ask everyone, starting with the Israeli government and some European governments, not to intimidate the judges."

"Don't threaten them, don't try to influence their decision, sometimes with threats and very harsh disqualifications," he added.

Khan accused the three Hamas leaders of crimes including extermination, hostage taking and sexual violence, and the two Israeli leaders of crimes including extermination, using hunger as a weapon and intentionally attacking civilians.

Israel denies committing war crimes in Gaza, says the ICC has no jurisdiction there and has called on countries to repudiate what it considers a politically motivated rogue court. Hamas has also rejected the accusations against its leaders.

Several countries have denounced the ICC prosecutor's decision to seek the arrest of the Israelis, including the United States, Israel's closest ally, which is not a member of the ICC. Hungary on Thursday described the request for arrest warrants as a "political decision" that discredited the court.

The International Court of Justice, a separate court also based in the Hague, was due later on Friday to rule on a separate request from South Africa to order Israel to halt its offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

In a further step that increased Israel's political isolation this week, Spain, Norway and Ireland have announced that they will recognise an independent Palestinian state.

Israel says this amounts to rewarding Hamas for its Oct. 7 attacks on Israeli territory and would strengthen the Islamist militant group. Borrell rejected this criticism.

"When it is said that this strengthens Hamas, I see it the other way round because the Palestinian world is divided between an authority that we recognise, that we fund, that we engage with... and a terrorist organisation that we regard as such," he said.

Israel launched its war in Gaza in retaliation for the Oct. 7 assault by Hamas-led fighters who killed 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. Israel's subsequent assault on the enclave has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza's health ministry.

Borrell said other European countries were considering recognising a Palestinian state, but did not provide further details. He said that criticising the Israeli government´s actions should not be considered antisemitic.

"Every time someone takes the decision to support Palestinian state-building, something that everyone in Europe supports...Israel's reaction is to turn it into an anti-Semitic attack."

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Writing by Emma Pinedo;Editing by Alison Williams, Charlie Devereux, Peter Graff)