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Netanyahu Condemns Bid To Arrest Him For Gaza War

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Netanyahu Condemns Bid To Arrest Him For Gaza War

Israeli Prime Minister; Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor for seeking arrest warrants for him and Hamas officials over suspected war crimes in the Gaza battle.

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Netanyahu expressed displeasure at the comparison of “democratic Israel” to “mass murderers”.

US President Joe Biden repeated Netanyahu’s remarks, saying there was no equivalence between Israel and Hamas. The chief ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, stated that there were reasonable reasons to think Netanyahu and his Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, were criminally responsible for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza.

The ICC is also looking to arrest Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ head in Gaza, for war crimes.

Israel and the United States, its main ally, are not members of the ICC, which was established in 2002.

The claims against Israeli and Hamas commanders arise from the events of October 7, when waves of Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, killing around 1,200 people and transporting 252 others to Gaza as hostages. The strike sparked the current conflict, which has killed at least 35,500 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

On Monday, Biden stated that there was “no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas”. “It’s clear Israel wants to do all it can to ensure civilian protection,” Biden stated.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken backed the president’s disapproval, stating that Washington “fundamentally rejects” the move. “It is shameful,” he remarked.

“[The] ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter.” Blinken also stated that the request for arrest warrants might undermine ongoing negotiations to establish a ceasefire agreement.

Khan also sought arrest warrants for Gallant, Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh, and the group’s military chief Mohammed Deif. He said that Israel’s prime minister and defense minister were under investigation for crimes such as human starvation as a form of warfare, murder, purposefully directing strikes on civilian populations, and extermination.

On Monday, the ICC reiterated its stance, stating that despite “significant efforts,” it had not received “any information demonstrating genuine action at the domestic level [in Israel] to address the crimes alleged or the individuals under investigation.”

A panel of judges at the ICC must now decide whether to issue the warrants and if they do, countries that have signed the ICC statute are required to arrest the men if given the opportunity.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, called the request for his arrest “an absurd and false order”.

In a public statement in Hebrew, he queried “with what audacity” the ICC would “dare to compare” Hamas with Israel. Netanyahu called the parallel a “distortion of reality”.

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