Wanted By International Criminal Court Prosecutor: Leaders Of Both Israel And Hamas.

Photo: Public domain. Could the leaders of Israel and Hamas soon find themselves on wanted posters like this one?
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The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

Photo courtesy of BBC. Could these two men soon find themselves on wanted posters and charged with war crimes?

“My office submits that these acts were committed as part of a common plan to use starvation as a method of war and other acts of violence against the Gazan civilian population as a means to eliminate Hamas, secure the return of the hostages which Hamas has abducted, and collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza, whom they perceived as a threat to Israel,” Khan said in a statement.

In addition to Sinwar, Khan said the commander of the Hamas military wing Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri and the head of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh are also responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Khan said the accusations against the Hamas officials include murder, taking hostages as a war crime, rape and other sexual violence, and torture.

In the Hamas leaders’ case, the alleged crimes begin “from at least 7 October 2023”; in the Israeli leaders’ case, “from at least 8 October 2023”

Israeli politicians condemn the decision to apply for a warrant for Netanyahu, with war cabinet minister Benny Gantz calling it a “deep distortion of justice”.

A senior Hamas official says the ICC seeking arrest warrants “equates the victim with the executioner”.

The New York Times notes, “While Mr. Khan’s request must still be approved by judges from the court, the announcement is a blow to the government of Mr. Netanyahu and will likely fuel international criticism of Israel’s strategy in its seven-month campaign against Hamas and the war’s toll on Gaza’s civilian population.”

A panel of judges at the ICC now will consider whether to issue the arrest warrants. States signed up to the ICC statute would then be obliged to arrest the men if they had the chance.

The 124 signatories do not include Russia, China and the US. Israel has not signed either. But the ICC has ruled that it does have legal authority to prosecute criminal acts in the war because the Palestinians are signatories.

The ICC prosecutor alleges that Israel’s prime minister and defence minister committed crimes including starvation of civilians as a weapon of war, murder, extermination, and intentional attacks on civilians.

If the arrest warrants are issued, it would mean that the head of Israel’s government, Benjamin Netanyahu, its longest-serving prime minister, would not be able to visit his Western allies without risking arrest.

The one exception, all important for him, would be the United States.

The same would apply to Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defence minister.

Source: VOA,BBC.
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