Sports

Israel-Gaza live: ICC seeks arrest warrant against Netanyahu for alleged war crimes

ICC seek arrest warrant against Israel PM Netanyahu over alleged Gaza war crimes

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas.

Karim Khan said that he believes Mr Netanyahu, his defense minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders — Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The prosecutor must request the warrants from a pre-trial panel of three judges. A decision could take weeks.

Israel is not a member of the court, and even if the arrest warrants are issued, Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gallant do not face any immediate risk of prosecution. But the threat of arrest could make it difficult for the Israeli leaders to travel abroad.

Israel launched its war in response to the 7 October terror attack by Hamas that killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 250 others hostage.

The Israeli offensive has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, at least half of them women and children, according to the latest estimates by Gaza health officials.

1716212491

Hamas: Who are the group’s leaders?

The International Criminal Court believes three Hamas leaders — Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

But who are the officials? Here The Independent has put together a profile on some of the group’s highest-ranking officials.

Alexander Butler20 May 2024 14:41

1716212265

Who has been accused of war crimes?

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking arrest warrants for two Israeli leaders and three Hamas officials for their alleged role in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The ICC, based in the Hague, must request the warrants from a pre-trial panel of three judges, which could take a number of weeks.

It is seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant – for their alleged role in the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, wilfully causing great suffering and wilful killing or murder as a war crime, among other things.

The court is also seeking arrest warrants for Hamas leaders Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh for allegations of bearing responsibility for crimes including extermination and murder, the taking of hostages, torture, rape and other acts of sexual violence.

Top left to bottom right: Ismail Haniyeh, Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, Yoav Gallant and Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty)

Alexander Butler20 May 2024 14:37

1716211768

Watch: ICC seek arrest warrant against Israel PM Netanyahu over alleged Gaza war crimes

ICC seek arrest warrant against Israel PM Netanyahu over alleged Gaza war crimes

Alexander Butler20 May 2024 14:29

1716210115

What are the war crime allegations?

The allegations against Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gallant include bearing responsibility for starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, wilfully causing great suffering and wilful killing or murder as a war crime.

The Hamas leaders face allegations of bearing responsibility for crimes including extermination and murder, the taking of hostages, torture, rape and other acts of sexual violence.

However, several Israeli ministers and Palestinian leaders have denounced the prosecutor’s move to seek arrest warrants.

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz said: “Drawing parallels between the leaders of a democratic country determined to defend itself from despicable terror to leaders of a blood-thirsty terror organisation (Hamas) is a deep distortion of justice and blatant moral bankruptcy.”

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said the prosecutor’s decision to request warrants for the three Hamas leaders “equates the victim with the executioner”.

Mr Netanyahu is accused of bearing criminal responsibility for starvation of civilians as a method of warfare (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Alexander Butler20 May 2024 14:01

1716208537

Request for Hamas arrest warrants a confusion between ‘victim and executioner’, PLO says

The International Criminal Court’s request for arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders is a confusion between the “victim and executioner”, the Palestine Liberation Organisation said.

The PLO was found in 1964 and is a coalition of different Palestinian nationalist groups, and is chaired by Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.

The group’s official Wasel Abu Youssef said: “The ICC is required to issue arrest warrants against Israeli officials who continue committing genocide crimes in the Gaza Strip,” he added.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation is chaired by Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, who leads Fatah in the West Bank (Copyright The Associated Press 2023)

Alexander Butler20 May 2024 13:35

1716207235

Hostage families speak

The families of some of those Israelis still held captive in Gaza – represented by the Families Forum group – have had their say over the news from the ICC:

“The Families Forum applauds the issuance of warrants against senior Hamas officials, which serves as further recognition of the crimes against humanity they committed on October 7th and continue to perpetrate. 128 innocent hostages from 24 nations remain captive in Hamas tunnels, where they suffer daily physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

“The Families Forum is not comfortable with the equivalence drawn between Israel’s leadership and the terrorists of Hamas. We believe the way to prove this distinction to the world is by immediately entering into negotiations that will free the hostages – the living for rehabilitation, and the deceased for burial.”

Families of hostages and former hostages hold images of the victims on a podium near the International Criminal Court at The Hague in February (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Alexander Butler20 May 2024 13:13

1716207100

Aid into Gaza

The halting of aid deliveries through the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is connected to the threat posed to humanitarian work by Israel’s military operation in the area, Egypt’s foreign minister said on Monday.

“Now there is a military presence on the outskirts of the Rafah crossing and military operations that put aid convoys and truck drivers in danger,” Sameh Shoukry told reporters after meeting his Greek counterpart in Cairo.

“The procedures resulting from Israeli military operations affect the operation of the Rafah crossing,” he said.

Activity has ceased at the Rafah crossing, which is positioned on Egypt’s 13km (8 mile) border with the Gaza Strip, since Israel stepped up its military offensive and took operational control of the crossing from the Gazan side on 7 May.

International aid deliveries have been stuck on the Egyptian side of the border, leading to worries that some of the food supplies will perish. Parts of Gaza are at risk of famine after more than seven months of war.

Much of the aid delivered into Gaza since the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in October has come through Egypt, entering Gaza through Rafah or the nearby Kerem Shalom crossing on Israel’s border with the Palestinian territory.

Mr Shoukry repeated calls for Israel to open other land crossings to deliver aid. “There are closed military crossings that should be used if there is real humanitarian concern about what is happening in Gaza,” he said.

Chris Stevenson20 May 2024 13:11

1716206810

‘A show of hypocrisy’

In a sign of how badly this news has gone down in Israel, Israeli hardline finance minister Bezalel Smotrich described the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s seeking of arrest warrants against Israel’s prime minister and defence minister as a “show of hypocrisy and Jew-hatred” recalling Nazi propaganda.

“Arrest warrants against them are arrest warrants against us all,” Mr Smotrich said in a statement, calling on countries friendly to Israel to take action to disband the ICC.

Mr Smotrich is one of the most extreme voices in Benjanmin Netanyahu’s government coalition.

Israeli hardline finance minister Bezalel Smotrich described the International Criminal Court seeking of arrest warrants against Israeli officials as ‘Jew-hatred’ (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Alexander Butler20 May 2024 13:06

1716206449

Hamas response

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to seek arrest warrants for three leading Hamas militants “equates the victim with the executioner”, a senior Hamas official told Reuters.

Sami Abu Zuhri also claimed the ICC decision gives encouragement to Israel to continue its “war of extermination” in Gaza.

The ICC believes Hamas official Yehia Sinwar is responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity (AP)

Alexander Butler20 May 2024 13:00

1716206292

Israel’s war cabinet

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz on Monday denounced the seeking of arrest warrants against the country’s prime minister and defence minister by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court as “a crime of historic proportion”.

“Drawing parallels between the leaders of a democratic country determined to defend itself from despicable terror to leaders of a blood-thirsty terror organisation (Hamas) is a deep distortion of justice and blatant moral bankruptcy,” Mr Gantz said.

Chris Stevenson20 May 2024 12:58


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button