On Monday, May 20, the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, announced that he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders, namely Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh and Mohammed Deif. In a statement announcing the move, Khan said that he had reasonable grounds to believe that all five men “bear criminal responsibility” for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. In regards to the Hamas leaders, the prosecutor said they were “criminally responsible” for killing hundreds of Israeli civilians on October 7 and taking over 245 hostages.

Moreover, he said that the group Hamas was guilty of extermination, murder, taking hostages, rape and other acts of violence and torture. Explaining why he was also seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, the prosecutor stated: “The crimes against humanity charged were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population”. Moreover, Khan said he collected evidence that Israel had systematically deprived civilians of “objects indispensable to human survival” including food, water, medicine and energy.

He added that Netanyahu and Gallant bore responsibility for Israel’s use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, extermination and crimes against humanity. Into the dock with Netan.

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