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ICC Prosecutor Asks for Arrests of Netanyahu, Gallant, and Hamas Leaders

The International Criminal Court prosecutor, Karim Khan. Peter Dejong
The International Criminal Court prosecutor, Karim Khan. Peter Dejong

Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor at the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court, announced during a Monday interview on CNN that he will seek arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas officials relating to their conduct during the war in Gaza.

While speaking to Christiane Amanpour, Khan said that after investigating matters related to the October 7 invasion of southern Israel and the subsequent response by the Jewish state, five individuals should be subject to judgment from the institution.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its Defense Minister Yoav Gallant are accused by the prosecutor of starvation of civilians, willfully causing great suffering, willful killing, intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, extermination, persecution, and inhumane acts.

From Hamas, Khan alleges that the terror group’s political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, its military head, Muhammad Deif, and its chief operative in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, are responsible for extermination, murder, taking hostages, rape and other acts of sexual violence, torture, inhumane acts, cruel treatment, and outrages upon personal dignity.

Observers have noted the unusual nature of the declaration because similar indictments in the past have only been made public after approval by a pre-trial panel of jurists and not released during a news program.

While Israel is not a member of the ICC and does not accept its jurisdiction, the investigation claimed legitimacy from the Palestinian Authority signing the Rome Treaty in 2015.

The decision to include Israeli leaders in the charges is the first time that a Western democracy has faced such an action.

Related Story: Netanyahu Defends Jewish State Against ‘Blood Libels’ from ICC Prosecutor

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