Arrest Warrants Sought by ICC for Netanyahu

( – The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor on Monday announced that he was seeking arrest warrants for the leaders of Hamas and Israel, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection to their actions during the war in Gaza.

Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan accused Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leaders Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh of being responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza and Israel.

Israel, like the United States, is not a signatory member of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Even if the ICC issued arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, there would be no immediate risk of prosecution.

The chief prosecutor must request arrest warrants from a three-judge pre-trial panel of the International Criminal Court, which typically takes roughly two months to consider evidence before deciding if there should be proceedings.

In 2023, the ICC issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of war crimes in the kidnapping of Ukraine orphans. Russia is not a member of the ICC.

The ICC does not have arrest powers. Those under a warrant for arrest could only be arrested by officials in a signatory member country. If they never travel to a member country, the arrest warrant is unenforceable.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz blasted Chief Prosecutor Khan describing his decision to request the warrants as “a historic disgrace that will be remembered forever.”

Katz said he would establish a special committee to fight against such action and would work with world leaders to ensure that if the warrants are issued, they would not be enforced.

Israeli War Cabinet member Benny Gantz also criticized Khan’s request, saying Israel has upheld “one of the strictest” moral codes in executing the war in Gaza and had a judicial system robust enough to investigate its citizens.

Hamas accused Khan of attempting to “equate the victim with the executioner” and argued in a statement that it had the right to use “armed resistance” to oppose the so-called “Israeli occupation.”

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