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“NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW” Court in The Hague seeks arrest warrants for Hamas leaders Sinwar and Haniyeh and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

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Karim A. A. Khan KC said in a CNN interview that the ICC is also seeking warrants for Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant, as well as two other top Hamas leaders — Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, head of the Al Qassem Brigades — better known as Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas.

This is the first time that the ICC has targeted Israeli politicians, a country that is a close ally of the United States.

The decision puts Netanyahu in the company of Russian President Vladimir Putin, for whom the ICC has issued an arrest warrant because of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

A panel of ICC judges will now consider Karim Khan’s request for an arrest warrant.

icc karim khan
Mr Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC taking his solemn oath as ICC Prosecutor © ICC-CPI

What exactly are Hamas leaders and Israeli officials accused of?

Khan said the charges against Sinwar, Haniyeh, and Masri included “extermination, murder, hostage-taking, rape and sexual assault in captivity”.

According to him, among the accusations against Netanyahu and Galant are “causing extermination, starvation, prohibition of humanitarian aid and intentional targeting of civilians during the conflict.”

To Netanyahu’s statement that accusations against high-ranking Israeli officials would be “outrageous” and that Israel has its own justice system that rigorously investigates any violation of the law, Karim Khan emphasized that “no one is above the law.”

Israel and the USA are not members of the ICC. However, the ICC claims jurisdiction over Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank, since Palestinian leaders agreed in 2015 to commit to the ICC’s founding principles, reports Srna.

Israeli officials reacted and condemned the decision

Israeli leaders condemned the ICC’s decision to seek an arrest warrant for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotic said that all Israelis should feel as if an arrest warrant has been issued against them and called on friendly countries to take action to dissolve the ICC. He called the decision of the ICC “a display of hypocrisy and hatred towards Jews” which, he claims, resembles Nazi propaganda.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid characterized the statement of the ICC as a “disaster” and said that he hoped that the US Congress would intervene in this matter. Minister Benny Gantz condemned the decision of the ICC, calling it a “crime of historic proportions”, reports Reuters. ‘

–  To compare the determination of the leaders of a democratic state to defend themselves against the terror of a bloodthirsty terrorist organization (Hamas) is a deep violation of justice and an obvious moral bankruptcy – said Ganz, quoted by Tanjug.

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