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May 20, 2024

The ICC prosecutor Kahn also requested an arrest warrant for Hamas Leader Yahya Sinwar.

On Monday, Karim Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, demanded arrest warrants against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

“On the basis of evidence collected and examined by my Office, I have reasonable grounds to believe that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Yoav Gallant, the Minister of Defense of Israel, bear criminal responsibility for the following war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least 8 October 2023:

• Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(b)(xxv) of the Statute;

• Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health contrary to article 8(2)(a)(iii), or cruel treatment as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(c)(i);

• Wilful killing contrary to article 8(2)(a)(i), or Murder as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(c)(i);

• Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as a war crime contrary to articles 8(2)(b)(i), or 8(2)(e)(i);

• Extermination and/or murder contrary to articles 7(1)(b) and 7(1)(a), including in the context of deaths caused by starvation, as a crime against humanity;

• Persecution as a crime against humanity contrary to article 7(1)(h);

• Other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity contrary to article 7(1)(k).”

The ICC prosecutor also requested an arrest warrant for Yahya Sinwar, head of the Palestinian Resistance Movement (Hamas), Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri, commander of the al Qassam Brigades; and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas's political bureau.

"Today we emphasize once again that international law and the laws of armed conflict apply to everyone. No private soldier, no commander, no civilian leader – no one – can act with impunity," Khan stressed.

"Nothing can justify the deliberate deprivation of human beings, among them so many women and children, of the basic needs that life requires. Nothing can justify the taking of hostages or attacks against civilians," he added.

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