NewsICC moves to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Hamas leaders

ICC moves to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Hamas leaders

Amal Clooney gave a positive opinion on the arrest warrant application for the Prime Minister of Israel.
Amal Clooney gave a positive opinion on the arrest warrant application for the Prime Minister of Israel.
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons

1:38 PM EDT, May 20, 2024

The International Criminal Court is seeking to issue arrest warrants for another Israeli minister and three Hamas leaders. The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court disclosed that he has requested arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders.

Prosecutor Karim Khan said he is applying for the issuance of warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the warrants issued for Hamas leaders — Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri, and Ismail Haniyeh — relate to the attacks on October 7 in southern Israel and the subsequent treatment of hostages abducted during the assault.

A panel of ICC judges will now review the warrant requests. CNN journalists noted that this is the first time the court has sought a warrant against close U.S. allies.

Clooney's wife signs onto the arrest

The Prosecutor sought legal advice regarding the requests for arrest warrants from a group of lawyers from the United Kingdom. Among them was George Clooney’s wife, Amal Clooney. The entire team expressed unanimous agreement.

The Panel also unanimously agrees that the evidence presented by the prosecutor provides reasonable grounds to believe that Netanyahu and Israel's minister of defense Yoav Gallant have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity - stated the declaration signed by Amal Clooney and other lawyers.

In a statement, Khan asserted that the evidence gathered and studied by his office gave him "reasonable grounds" to believe that Netanyahu and Gallant "bear criminal responsibility" for crimes, including the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, deliberately directing attacks on civilians, and "extermination and/or murder."

Hamas leaders are also suspected of extermination and murder, and Khan is still seeking arrest warrants for the trio for taking hostages, torture, and "rape and other sexual violence considered as crimes against humanity."

Sinwar is the leader of Hamas in Gaza. Al-Masri, commonly known as Mohammed Deif, heads the group's military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, while Haniyeh heads Hamas's Political Bureau. Khan stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that all three bear criminal responsibility for the killing of hundreds of Israeli civilians in Hamas attacks on October 7, 2023, and the capture of at least 245 hostages.

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