THE HAGUE/JERUSALEM: The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor said on Monday he had requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense chief, and three Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan stated that after over seven months of Israeli aggression in Gaza, he had reasonable grounds to believe all the individuals “bear criminal responsibility” for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Khan has applied for arrest warrants for Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Netanyahu, who have overseen Israel’s military operations in Gaza. He has also requested warrants for Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Al-Masri, the commander-in-chief of Hamas, and Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ Political Bureau.

The decision to issue arrest warrants will be made by a panel of pre-trial judges. However, the ICC lacks the means to enforce these warrants, and the investigation into Israeli actions in Gaza has been consistently opposed by the United States and Israel. Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders have previously dismissed allegations of committing war crimes.

“Now, more than ever, we must collectively demonstrate that international humanitarian law, the foundational baseline for human conduct during conflict, applies to all individuals and applies equally across the situations addressed by my office and the court,” Khan emphasized.

Allegations and Reactions

Netanyahu and Gallant are accused of war crimes including the starvation of civilians, causing great suffering, and willful killing. Hamas leaders face charges of extermination, murder, hostage-taking, torture, rape, and other acts of sexual violence.

Israeli ministers and Palestinian representatives have denounced the prosecutor’s actions. Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz condemned the comparison between Israel’s leaders and Hamas leaders as a “deep distortion of justice” and “blatant moral bankruptcy.” Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri argued that the prosecutor’s decision equates the “victim with the executioner.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz called the prosecutor’s move a “historical disgrace” and a “scandalous decision” that he plans to counter through diplomatic channels. Israeli President Isaac Herzog criticized the bid as an example of the international judicial system’s potential collapse.

Context and Impact

The ICC, the world’s first permanent international war crimes court, relies on its 124 member states to arrest wanted individuals. However, Israel and its primary ally, the United States, along with China and Russia, are not members of the ICC.

The conflict has resulted in at least 35,000 Palestinian deaths according to Gaza’s health ministry, with significant humanitarian concerns reported by aid agencies. On October 7, Hamas’ attack on Israel led to the deaths of approximately 1,200 people and over 250 hostages.

Israeli officials continue to denounce the ICC’s actions, with Gantz labeling the prosecutor’s bid as a “historical crime” and a demonstration of “moral blindness” in comparing Israel’s democratic government to a terrorist organization.

As the situation unfolds, the international community watches closely, aware of the broader implications for international law and justice.



Experienced Senior Research Analyst



Sikander Raza, a Senior Technical Analyst



Hamza Saleem, a Senior Business Analyst



Irsa Sajjad, as a Research Analyst for Equities

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?