ICC seeks arrest warrants for Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, for Oct. 7 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the Gaza War

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According to a CNN report, The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking arrest warrants for Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the October 7 attacks on Israel and the subsequent conflict in Gaza. ICC prosecutor Karim Khan revealed this information in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

In addition to Sinwar and Netanyahu, the ICC is pursuing warrants for Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, as well as two other senior Hamas leaders: Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, known as Mohammed Deif, leader of the Al Qassem Brigades, and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader.

This marks the first time the ICC has targeted the leader of a close U.S. ally, putting Netanyahu in the same category as Russian President Vladimir Putin, who faces an ICC arrest warrant over Moscow’s war on Ukraine, and the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was under an ICC warrant for alleged crimes against humanity at the time of his death in October 2011.

By issuing arrest warrants for both Israeli and Hamas leaders, the ICC risks criticism for equating a terror organization with an elected government.

A panel of ICC judges will now review Khan’s application for the warrants.

Khan stated that the charges against Sinwar, Haniyeh, and al-Masri include “extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape, and sexual assault in detention.” He highlighted the atrocities of October 7, where people were forcibly taken from their homes in Israel, causing enormous suffering.

The charges against Netanyahu and Gallant involve “causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war, including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, and deliberately targeting civilians in conflict,” Khan told Amanpour.

In response to earlier reports of potential ICC action, Netanyahu described any such warrants as an “outrage of historic proportions,” emphasizing Israel’s independent legal system that investigates all legal violations rigorously. Khan replied, “Nobody is above the law,” and suggested that Israel challenge the ICC’s jurisdiction before the court’s judges.

Although Israel and the United States are not ICC members, the court claims jurisdiction over Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank, following the Palestinian leaders’ 2015 agreement to adhere to the ICC’s principles.

This announcement is separate from the ongoing case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding South Africa’s accusation of genocide against Israel following the October 7 attacks. While the ICJ deals with disputes between nations, the ICC prosecutes individuals for war crimes or crimes against humanity.

In March 2021, Khan’s office initiated an investigation into potential crimes in the Palestinian territories since June 2014 in Gaza and the West Bank. The ICC, based in The Hague, Netherlands, was established by the Rome Statute, an independent treaty involving 124 countries, excluding Israel, the US, and Russia.

If the ICC grants the arrest warrants, member countries would be obligated to arrest and extradite the accused to The Hague. This would significantly restrict international travel for Netanyahu and Gallant, including to allied countries like Germany and the United Kingdom.

DAMON K JONES
DAMON K JONEShttps://damonkjones.com
A multifaceted personality, Damon is an activist, author, and the force behind Black Westchester Magazine, a notable Black-owned newspaper based in Westchester County, New York. With a wide array of expertise, he wears many hats, including that of a Spiritual Life Coach, Couples and Family Therapy Coach, and Holistic Health Practitioner. He is well-versed in Mental Health First Aid, Dietary and Nutritional Counseling, and has significant insights as a Vegan and Vegetarian Nutrition Life Coach. Not just limited to the world of holistic health and activism, Damon brings with him a rich 32-year experience as a Law Enforcement Practitioner and stands as the New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America.

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