ICC Prosecutor Requests Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu and Other Leaders

(RepublicanJournal.org) – It’s been more than seven months since Hamas launched its surprise attack on Israel, leading to an all-out conflict. In that time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been clear that his goal is to “eradicate Hamas,” and he will not stop until it’s achieved. However, his actions have angered many who claim the humanitarian impact is devastating. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has gotten involved and its prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants for five people.

In a statement on May 20, prosecutor Karim Khan said he was “filing applications of arrest before Pre-Trial Chamber I” against three Hamas leaders, Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri (Deif), and two Israeli officials, Netanyahu and his Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant. He is accusing all five of war crimes.

Sinwar, Haniyeh, and Al-Masri are accused of murder, taking hostages, extermination, sexual violence, cruel treatment, torture, and outrages upon personal dignity. Khan alleges some of the war crimes “continue to this day.” Sinwar is the head of Hamas while Haniyeh is head of the militant group’s political bureau and Al-Masri is the commander-in-chief of the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing.

Netanyahu and Gallant are also accused of several war crimes, including starvation of civilians, willfully causing great suffering, willful killing, extermination, persecution as a crime, and intentionally directing attacks against civilian populations.

Netanyahu was none too happy with the move, saying it was “a moral outrage of historic proportions.” However, because Israel doesn’t recognize the ICC, the warrants are more symbolic because the court lacks jurisdiction.

Several countries, including Italy, the United Kingdom, and the US condemned the ICC’s actions. President Joe Biden issued a statement before the press, saying the United States “reject[s] the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders,” and “whatever these warrants may imply, there’s no equivalence” between the militant group and the Jewish state.

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