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ICC arrest warrants request called 'despicable' by Israeli defense minister

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin Agence France-Presse “The attempt by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan to reverse the situation will not succeed,” declares Yoav Gallant.

France Media Agency in Jerusalem

Posted at 6:47 a.m. Updated at 7:01 a.m.

  • Middle East

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Tuesday called the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor's request for arrest warrants against him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “despicable.”

“ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan’s attempt to reverse the situation will not succeed. The parallel he has drawn between the terrorist organization Hamas and the State of Israel is despicable,” Mr. Gallant said in a statement, referring to the arrest warrants also requested against leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement.

“Prosecutor Karim Khan's attempt to deny the State of Israel the right to defend itself and secure the release of hostages held in Gaza must be rejected explicitly,” Mr. Gallant continued.

Senior Israeli officials including President Isaac Herzog have criticized the ICC prosecutor's approach targeting MM. Netanyahu and Gallant.

Karim Khan announced on Monday that he had requested arrest warrants against MM. Netanyahu and Gallant for crimes such as “deliberate starvation of civilians”, “intentional homicide” and “extermination and/or murder” in connection with the Israeli operation in Gaza.

The ICC prosecutor also requested warrants against three senior Hamas officials – Ismaïl Haniyeh, Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinouar – for notably “extermination”, “rape and other forms of violence sexual assault” and “hostage-taking as a war crime” linked to the attack by the Islamist movement on October 7 in Israel.

The war in Gaza broke out after Hamas's unprecedented attack on Israel that day, which left more than 1,170 people dead, most of them civilians, according to an AFP report based on official Israeli data.

Palestinian fighters also took 252 people hostage during the attack, 124 of whom are still being held in Gaza and 37 of whom the army said died.

Two days after the war broke out following the Hamas attack, Mr. Gallant ordered a “complete siege” of the 2.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip.

“No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — everything is closed,” Mr. Gallant declared in a video message on October 9.

The Israeli army's response to Hamas has left more than 35,500 dead in Gaza, most of them civilians, according to data provided by the Hamas-run territory's Health Ministry.

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  • ICC prosecutor requests arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Hamas leaders
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116