ICC seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu for war crimes, charges Hamas with 7 Oct attack

ICC prosecutor says Netanyahu and his defence minister “bear criminal responsibility” for war crimes and crimes against humanity

File photo of Benjamin Netanyahu
File photo of Benjamin Netanyahu

NH Digital

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday announced that its prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan would be submitting applications to seek arrest warrants against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant in connection with Israel's actions in Palestine, as reported by international media agencies.

Khan himself made a statement to this effect, saying Netanyahu and Gallant “bear criminal responsibility” for war crimes and crimes against humanity “committed on the territory of the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least 8 October 2023”.

The prosecutor has also charged Yahya Sinwar (head of Islamic militant outfit Hamas in the Gaza Strip), Mohd Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri, more commonly known as DEIF (commander-in-chief of the Hamas military wing, also known as Al-Qassam Brigades), and Ismail Haniyeh.

The ICC believes all these individuals to be “criminally responsible for the killing of hundreds of Israeli civilians in attacks perpetrated by Hamas (in particular its military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades) and other armed groups on 7 October 2023 and the taking of at least 245 hostages.”

In his statement, Khan said “Israel has intentionally and systematically deprived the civilian population in all parts of Gaza of objects indispensable to human survival.”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), a separate entity from the ICC, is also investigating whether Israel has committed acts of genocide in the ongoing war in Gaza, though any ruling is expected to take years. Israel has rejected allegations of wrongdoing and accused both international justice agencies of bias.

Instead, Israel has accused Hamas of genocide over its 7 October rocket attacks which triggered a response from the Jewish state. On 7 October 2023, Hamas militants reportedly invaded Israeli army bases and farming communities across the country's southern region, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 hostage.

In response, Israel launched a massive air, sea and ground offensive that has till date killed over 34,000 Palestinians in attacks on both military and civilian installations including hospitals, the dead being mostly women and children, according to Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry.

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