Arrest warrants issued by ICC for Netanyahu, Gallant, and 3 Hamas leaders

On Monday, the International Criminal Court made a significant announcement regarding the arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three of Hamas’s top leaders. These warrants are in connection with the October attack on Israel, which ultimately led to the ongoing Israel-Gaza war.

According to Khan, our office has gathered substantial evidence, which includes interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses, verified video, photo, and audio material, satellite imagery, and statements from alleged perpetrator groups. This evidence clearly demonstrates that Israel has deliberately and systematically deprived the civilian population in all areas of Gaza of essential items necessary for human survival.

According to a recent social media update by the Gaza Ministry of Health, a staggering 35,386 Palestinians have lost their lives, while an additional 79,366 individuals have sustained injuries since the commencement of the conflict that ensued after the Hamas attack on October 7th.

Rumors of arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have been circulating since last month. Israel has been actively engaging in diplomatic channels to prevent their issuance.

Khan additionally revealed the accusations levied against Yahya Siwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri, the commander of Hamas’s military division, and Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas’s political bureau.

According to Khan, “Hamas and other armed groups carried out the crimes against humanity as part of a deliberate and organized campaign targeting the civilian population of Israel. These crimes, in our view, are ongoing.”

Israeli military forces announced on Friday that they have successfully retrieved the remains of three individuals who were abducted during the assault on October 7 and tragically lost their lives while trying to escape from the Nova music festival.

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Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog, alongside other Israeli leaders, strongly condemned the arrest warrants issued against Netanyahu and Gallant, labeling them as “beyond outrageous.”

According to Herzog, this unilateral political move taken in bad faith emboldens terrorists worldwide and violates the fundamental principles of the court, such as the principle of complementarity and other legal norms.

The comparison drawn between these heinous terrorists and the democratically elected government of Israel is completely unacceptable. Israel, as a nation, is devoted to fulfilling its responsibility of safeguarding its citizens within the framework of international law. Any suggestion otherwise is outrageous and should not be tolerated by anyone.

Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister of Israel, expressed his strong disapproval of the arrest warrants issued against Netanyahu and Gallan, referring to them as “arrest warrants for all of us” within Israel. He emphasized that these warrants should serve as a catalyst for the dismantling of the court.

Benny Gantz, a potential political rival to Netanyahu, criticized Hamas as a “blood-thirsty” organization and condemned the arrest warrants against the Israeli, describing it as a clear display of “moral bankruptcy.”

Hamas also strongly denounced the warrants issued against its leaders, asserting that it is the one being subjected to war crimes committed by Israel.

Hamas has expressed its strong condemnation of the efforts made by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to equate the victim with the executioner. The movement firmly opposes the issuance of arrest warrants against several leaders of the Palestinian resistance. “We strongly condemn the prosecutor’s attempts to equate the victim with the executioner,” said Hamas.

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U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his opinion on the ICC’s warrants, stating that it mistakenly implies equal blame between Israel and Hamas for the war in Gaza. He emphasized that Israel is acting in defense of its sovereignty.

“The application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders by the ICC prosecutor is absolutely outrageous,” stated Biden in a White House statement. “I want to emphasize that there is absolutely no equivalency between Israel and Hamas, no matter what this prosecutor may suggest. We will continue to support Israel in its fight against any threats to its security.”

The Council of American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country, has urged Biden to refrain from intervening in the ICC’s pursuit of Israeli leaders’ prosecution.

The organization stated that just like President Biden acknowledged the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine, he should also recognize the arrest warrant applications sought by the ICC prosecutor against Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza.

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