NewsICC seeks arrest of Netanyahu, Gallant in war crimes probe

ICC seeks arrest of Netanyahu, Gallant in war crimes probe

Netanyahu condemns attempts to arrest him in connection with the war in Gaza
Netanyahu condemns attempts to arrest him in connection with the war in Gaza
Images source: © East News | Marc Israel Sellem/JINI

5:16 AM EDT, May 21, 2024

Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, criticized on Monday the request by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, to issue an arrest warrant for himself and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Netanyahu stated that this is a manifestation of "new anti-Semitism."

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced on Monday that he has filed a request for arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, and three Hamas leaders: Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh. This request relates to suspicions of their responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed since October 2023 in the territories of Israel and the Gaza Strip.

In a recording published on social media, Netanyahu emphasized that Khan's request is aimed at Israeli soldiers who are fighting with utmost heroism against the vile murderers of Hamas. Netanyahu pointed out that it is unacceptable to compare Hamas, which he accused of murdering, burning, raping, and kidnapping, with Israeli soldiers who he asserts are conducting a just war.

Netanyahu stated that he completely rejects Khan's request, which he believes "completely distorts reality." The Prime Minister of Israel considers this a manifestation of "new anti-Semitism" that has moved from university campuses to The Hague, where the ICC, a tribunal established to try individuals accused of committing the most serious crimes, is located. He accused the prosecutor of "heartlessly adding fuel to the fire of anti-Semitism raging around the world."

President of the USA, Joe Biden, also commented on the decision of the International Criminal Court's prosecutor. He stated that ""What’s happening is not genocide. " Biden said, "We stand with Israel to eliminate (Hamas leader Yahya) Sinwar and the rest of the Hamas butchers. We want Hamas to be defeated. We are working with Israel to make that happen."

Charges against the leaders of Israel and Hamas

Khan accused Hamas leaders of, among other things, murders, hostage-taking, rape and sexual violence, torture, and other "inhumane acts" as part of a "widespread and systematic attack by Hamas and other armed groups on the civilian population of Israel."

The Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Israel are accused of, among other things, crimes involving the use of starvation as a method of warfare, deliberately causing great suffering, killings, and intentionally directing attacks at civilian populations.

The tribunal judges, who will review Khan's request, will make the final decision on issuing arrest warrants.

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