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International Criminal Court Prosecutor requests warrants for Netanyahu and Hamas leaders

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The International Criminal Court prosecutor, Karim Khan, said Monday that he had requested arrest warrants for the leaders of Hamas and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to the Oct. 7 attack and the war in Gaza, The New York Times reports.
 
In a statement, Mr. Khan said he was applying for arrest warrants for Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Deif and Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. He also said he was requesting warrants for Mr. Netanyahu and for Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant.
 
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.
 
There was no immediate response from the Israeli government or from Hamas. Israel is not a member of the court and does not recognize its jurisdiction in Israel or Gaza. But if warrants are issued, those named could be arrested if they travel to one of the court’s 124 member nations, which include most European countries but not the United States.
 
Mr. Khan’s statement said that he had “reasonable grounds to believe” that Mr. Sinwar, Mr. Deif and Mr. Haniyeh were responsible for “war crimes and crimes against humanity” — including “the killing of hundreds of Israeli civilians in attacks perpetrated by Hamas.”
 
“It is the view of my Office that these individuals planned and instigated the commission of crimes on 7 October 2023, and have through their own actions, including personal visits to hostages shortly after their kidnapping, acknowledged their responsibility for those crimes,” the statement said.
 
With regard to Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Gallant, the prosecutor said he believed the Israeli leaders bore criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity, including using starvation as a weapon of war and “intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population.”
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