Netanyahu takes aim at ‘rogue’ ICC prosecutor after request for arrest warrants

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu railed against the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday for its decision earlier this week to request arrest warrants for top Israeli and Hamas officials. 

Karim Khan, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, announced he was seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as top Hamas officials Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh. 

“It’s outrageous,” Netanyahu told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “This is a rogue prosecutor who’s gone amok. He’s out to demonize the one and only Jewish state and the only democracy in the Middle East, and it’s both false and dangerous.”

Karim Khan speaking at a microphone

Karim Khan is the ICC’s chief prosecutor. (Getty Images)

Khan accused Netanyahu and Gallant of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He alleged seven crimes committed by the top Israeli officials, including the “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare,” “intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population” and “willful killing.”

Netanyahu criticized the ICC for requesting arrest warrants against Israeli and Hamas officials at the same time, arguing there is an attempt to create a “false symmetry” between the “democratically elected leaders of Israel and the terrorist tyrants of Hamas.” 

He added that the ICC’s decision would be like requesting arrest warrants for Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler during World War II or President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden during the war on terror. 

icc

A general view of the International Criminal Court (ICC) building in The Hague, Netherlands on April 30, 2024. ((Photo by Selman Aksunger/Anadolu via Getty Images))

NIGHT OF INTENSE FIGHTING MARKS ISRAELI ADVANCE DEEPER INTO RAFAH

Israel launched its war after Hamas militants killed roughly 1,200 people, most of whom were civilians, and abducted roughly 250 more to Gaza, according to the Associated Press.

The Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health, which doesn’t distinguish between the deaths of civilians and combatants, said more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed during the war.

President Biden rejected the ICC’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli officials, saying there is “no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.” 

“It’s clear Israel wants to do all it can to ensure civilian protection,” Biden said. 

Israel-Palestinians

Israeli soldiers gather near the Israeli-Gaza border in southern Israel before they enter Gaza Strip, Wednesday, May 1, 2024.  (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

He added: “Contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening is not genocide. We reject that. We’re going to always stand with Israel and the threats against their security.”

AUSTIN SAYS NO EVIDENCE THAT ISRAEL IS COMMITTING ‘GENOCIDE’ IN GAZA STRIP WAR AGAINST HAMAS

Netanyahu also criticized the ICC for alleging Israel has been starving Palestinian civilians. 

Khan said in a statement that since Oct. 8, Israel has imposed a “total siege” of Gaza that involved the closing of three border crossing points that “arbitrarily restrict[ed] the transfer of essential supplies — including food and medicine — through the border crossings after they were reopened.”

gaza food, aid

As Israeli attacks on Gaza continue, Palestinians, including children, are unable to obtain many essential needs, including basic food supplies, due to the complete blockade imposed on the region; consequently, in the city of Deir al-Balah, Gaza, they wait in line for hours to receive meals distributed by charity organizations on May 18, 2024. ( (Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu via Getty Images))

“The siege also included cutting off cross-border water pipelines from Israel to Gaza — Gazans’ principal source of clean water — for a prolonged period beginning 9 October 2023, and cutting off and hindering electricity supplies from at least 8 October 2023 until today. This took place alongside other attacks on civilians, including those queuing for food; obstruction of aid delivery by humanitarian agencies; and attacks on and killing of aid workers, which forced many agencies to cease or limit their operations in Gaza,” the statement read in part. 

Netanyahu called the charge a “pack of lies” and “false.” 

“We put in 20,000 trucks — 500,000 tons of food and medicine. The price of food in Gaza has plummeted because markets don’t lie,” he told Hannity. “People receive about 3,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 that’s required. It’s a bunch of baloney.” 

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said Congress is reviewing its options to respond to the ICC’s decision, including the possibility of sanctions. 

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A panel of three ICC judges must decide in the coming months whether to grant the arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, Sinwar, Deif and Haniyeh. 



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