June 13, 2024

International Court Seeks Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu, Hamas Leaders

Prosecutor Karim Khan of the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally requested arrest warrants on Monday for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and several other leaders of the genocidal Hamas terrorist group.

Khan equated Israel’s self-defense operations towards Hamas in Gaza to the widespread atrocities dedicated in Israel by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023, explicitly calling the self-defense operation to uproot Hamas from Gaza, a territory it has managed since 2007, “criminal.”

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan poses during an interview with AFP at the Cour d'Honneur of the Palais Royal in Paris on February 7, 2024. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) wants to prosecute "environmental crimes" without changing the court's statute, because environmental damage is often the cause or consequence of war crimes or crimes against humanity that the ICC can already judge, Karim Khan announced on February 7, 2024, in an interview with AFP. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP) (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan poses throughout an interview with AFP on the Cour d’Honneur of the Palais Royal in Paris on February 7, 2024 (Dimitar DILKOFF/AFP).

“Israel, like all States, has a right to take action to defend its population. That right, however, does not absolve Israel or any State of its obligation to comply with international humanitarian law,” Khan wrote in his assertion on the request for arrest warrants. “Notwithstanding any military goals they may have, the means Israel chose to achieve them in Gaza – namely, intentionally causing death, starvation, great suffering, and serious injury to body or health of the civilian population – are criminal.”

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a world physique created by worldwide authorized doc, the Rome Statute, that has the authority to course of accusations towards particular person individuals for genocide, crimes towards humanity, and battle crimes. Only states which have signed onto the Rome Statute have made a dedication to abide by its warrants; neither Israel nor Palestinian political teams, which Khan known as a “state” of “Palestine,” have completed so. Should the court docket grant the warrants Khan requests, Rome Statute signatory nations would have the jurisdiction to arrest the people focused.

Khan requested warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant in addition to a number of high-ranking Hamas terrorists: terror chief Yahya Sinwar, “political” chief Ismail Haniyeh, and the “commander-in-chief” of Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri.

TOPSHOT - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant attend a press conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on October 28, 2023 amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Netanyahu said on October 28 that fighting inside the Gaza Strip would be "long and difficult", as Israeli ground forces operate in the Palestinian territory for more than 24 hours. (Photo by Abir SULTAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant attend a press convention within the Kirya army base in Tel Aviv on October 28, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas (ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Images).

The Hamas leaders stand accused of 5 separate crimes towards humanity and three battle crimes, all associated to the atrocities of October 7, amongst them homicide, taking of hostages, rape, and “extermination.” Khan claimed that the atrocities had been a part of “an international armed conflict between Israel and Palestine,” a state that doesn’t exist.

Khan famous that the prosecution of Hamas leaders was potential as a result of collaboration of the victims of October 7, who formally filed costs on the ICC in February, submitting 1,000 pages of proof to the court docket.

“During my own visit to Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Kfar Aza, as well as to the site of Supernova Music Festival in Re’im, I saw the devastating scenes of these attacks and the profound impact of the unconscionable crimes charged in the applications filed today,” Khan wrote. “Speaking with survivors, I heard how the love within a family, the deepest bonds between a parent and a child, were contorted to inflict unfathomable pain through calculated cruelty and extreme callousness.”


The destruction brought on by Hamas militants once they infiltrated Kibbutz Be’eri, close to the Israeli-Gaza border, southern Israel. October 25, 2023 (DIMA VAZINOVICH/Middle East Images/AFP by way of Getty Images).

Israeli authorities documented an estimated 1,200 individuals killed by the Hamas invasion on October 7 and one other 250 taken hostage, of which round 130 stay lacking, suspected useless, or in captivity. Widespread proof, together with movies taken and uploaded to the Internet by the terrorists themselves, indicated that they engaged in atrocities similar to gang rape, executions throughout rape, the massacre of complete households of their properties, infanticide, torture, and desecration of corpses.

Khan handled these crimes equally to Israel’s try to forestall a repeat of the assault sooner or later.

Netanyahu and Gallant are going through three costs of “war crimes” and three of “crimes against humanity,” together with “starvation,” “extermination,” and “persecution.”

“We submit that the crimes against humanity charged were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population pursuant to State policy. These crimes, in our assessment, continue to this day,” Khan wrote.

Khan claimed – opposite to evidence of booming markets and an abundance of humanitarian assist in elements of Gaza, that Israel had “intentionally and systematically deprived the civilian population in all parts of Gaza of objects indispensable to human survival.” Khan additionally blamed Israel for “arbitrarily restricting the transfer of essential supplies – including food and medicine – through the border crossings after they were reopened.” At the Rafah border crossing, the southernmost and most direct solution to entry civilians after Israel authorities addressed the Hamas presence in northern Gaza, a number of experiences indicated that neighboring Egypt, not Israel, was accountable for holding the border closed.

The accusations additionally didn’t handle experiences of Hamas actively stealing humanitarian assist and attacking crossings used to permit assist into Gaza.

Khan emphasised that treating Israeli authorities and Hamas the identical approach was the aim of the warrant requests.

“Let us today be clear on one core issue: if we do not demonstrate our willingness to apply the law equally, if it is seen as being applied selectively, we will be creating the conditions for its collapse,” Khan wrote. “In doing so, we will be loosening the remaining bonds that hold us together, the stabilising connections between all communities and individuals, the safety net to which all victims look in times of suffering. This is the true risk we face in this moment.”

The Israeli authorities issued an outraged response to the arrest requests on Monday.

“The State of Israel is waging one of the just wars fought in modern history following a reprehensible massacre perpetrated by terrorist Hamas on the 7th of October,” War cupboard minister Benny Gantz stated in an announcement, including:

While Israel fights with one of many strictest ethical codes in historical past, whereas complying with worldwide regulation and boasting a sturdy impartial judiciary – drawing parallels between the leaders of a democratic nation decided to defend itself from despicable terror to leaders of a bloodthirsty terror group is a deep distortion of justice and blatant ethical chapter.

In April, Netanyahu had warned the ICC that issuing arrest warrants for himself and different Israeli officers can be “an outrage of historic proportions.

“International bodies like the ICC arose in the wake of the Holocaust committed against the Jewish people. They were set up to prevent such horrors, to prevent future genocides,” Netanyahu stated on the time. “Branding Israel’s leaders and soldiers as war criminals will pour jet fuel on the fires of antisemitism, those fires that are already raging on the campuses of America and across capitals around the world.”

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