International Criminal Court Pushes For Arrest Warrants Against Netanyahu And Hamas Chief

(Photo by LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Jake Smith Contributor
Font Size:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced Monday that it is pursuing the arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, and Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan confirmed in a statement that he is seeking arrest warrants for both individuals, citing several allegations of international law violations committed in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war that began on Oct. 7. The U.S. and Israel had previously urged the ICC against issuing warrants against Netanyahu. (RELATED: IDF Recovers Bodies Of Three Hostages Taken On Oct 7)

An ICC court will need to determine whether warrants will be issued before punitive actions against Sinwar or Netanyahu could be taken, Khan said on Monday.

“The independent judges of the International Criminal Court are the sole arbiters as to whether the necessary standard for the issuance of warrants of arrest has been met. Should they grant my applications and issue the requested warrants, I will then work closely with the Registrar in all efforts to apprehend the named individuals,” Khan said. “My Office will not hesitate to submit further applications for warrants of arrest if and when we consider that the threshold of a realistic prospect of conviction has been met.”

Khan is seeking the arrest of Sinwar for “bear[ing] criminal responsibility” for several crimes, including murder, kidnapping, rape, torture and “other inhumane acts as a crime against humanity,” according to the statement. The warrants were also extended to Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader, and Mohammed Deif, the leader of the terrorist group’s military wing.

Separately, Khan is seeking an arrest warrant for Netanyahu over crimes including starving civilians in Gaza “as a method of warfare,” directing attacks against civilians, committing “wilful killing” and other violations of international law. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is also named in the warrant request.

“Israel, like all States, has a right to take action to defend its population. That right, however, does not absolve Israel or any State of its obligation to comply with international humanitarian law,” Khan said on Monday. “Notwithstanding any military goals they may have, the means Israel chose to achieve them in Gaza – namely, intentionally causing death, starvation, great suffering, and serious injury to body or health of the civilian population – are criminal.”

The U.S. has said that it does not support the ICC’s investigation into Israel’s actions in Gaza or issuing arrest warrants against Israeli officials, claiming that the court doesn’t have the authority to take action on the situation, Axios reported.  Several U.S. lawmakers, including Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, have threatened to retaliate against the ICC if it issued warrants against Israeli officials.

The Israeli government has also warned that it will take action against the ICC if it issues warrants. Israeli officials are concerned that the Palestinian Authority, the ruling body in Gaza, spearheaded the effort to get arrest warrants issued, according to Axios.

“The government and people of Israel reject outright this grave threat to our security. This grave threat to our very existence,” Netanyahu said in late April. “Israel expects the leaders of the free world to stand firmly against the ICC outrageous assault on Israel’s inherent right of self-defense. We expect them to use all the means at their disposal to stop this dangerous move.”

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact