ICC seeks arrest warrants for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu & Hamas leaders

NEW YORK – The International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants against three leaders of Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity linked to the Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel and the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.

In a Monday statement, the ICC said it is targeting to secure warrants against Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, the group’s political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, commander in chief of Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam brigade.

The three Hamas leaders are pursued in connection with alleged crimes committed during Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack against Israel, including murder, the taking of hostages and sexual abuse.

The ICC also asked for warrants against Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for alleged crimes committed since October during Israel’s retaliatory campaign in the Gaza Strip. The alleged crimes include the starvation of civilians, murder and persecution.

Israel says its offensive in the Gaza enclave, which it deepened with an incursion in Rafah earlier this month, targets the elimination of Hamas, rather than civilians.

“Now, more than ever, we must collectively demonstrate that international humanitarian law, the foundational baseline for human conduct during conflict, applies to all individuals and applies equally across the situations addressed by my Office and the Court,” ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said in a Monday statement. “This is how we will prove, tangibly, that the lives of all human beings have equal value. ”

More than 1,200 people have been killed in Israel since October, according to Israel’s prime minister’s office, while the Palestinian Health Ministry indicated over 35,000 people were killed in the Gaza Strip during that period.

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