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International Criminal Court will request arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza

International Criminal Court will request arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has reported that it will request the arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu as well as for his Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, as well as for leaders of the extremist group Hamas.

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Amid a wave of demonstrations in Israel this Monday, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as early elections; the International Criminal Court (CPI) has reported that it will request arrest warrants for him, as well as for his Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, and for leaders of the extremist group Hamas.

Seven months after a war began in the Gaza Strip, tensions are rising, both in the military sphere and in the various demonstrations around the world calling for an immediate ceasefire against the Palestinian population, which counted up to This Tuesday, May 21, 35,647 died, the majority being women and children.

“The Israeli occupation has left 85 martyrs and 200 injured during the last 24 hours,” said the enclave's Ministry of Health in a statement, “Many people are still trapped under the rubble and on the roads because rescuers cannot reach them.” .

Given this, Karim AA Khan KC, chief prosecutor of the ICC, said at a conference that, based on the evidence collected and examined by the office he heads, "there are reasonable grounds to believe that Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, and Yoav Gallant, Minister of Defense of Israel, have criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against acts of humanity committed in the territory of the State of Palestine (in the Gaza Strip) since at least October 8, 2023?

Among the charges they would be found guilty of are starving civilians as a method of war as a war crime; intentionally causing great suffering or serious harm to body or health, or cruel treatment as a war crime; as well as intentional homicide or murder as a war crime.

In the same way, he pointed out, intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as a war crime; extermination and/or murder even in the context of deaths caused by starvation, as a crime against humanity; persecution as a crime against humanity; and other inhuman acts as crimes against humanity.

?We maintain that the alleged crimes against humanity ??were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population in accordance with State policy. "These crimes, in our opinion, continue to this day," Khan made clear.

In turn, it maintains that the evidence collected, including interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses, authenticated video material, photographs and audio, satellite images and statements from the alleged perpetrator group, show that Israel has intentionally and systematically deprived the civilian population in all parts of Gaza of objects essential for human survival.

To this, he added that these acts were committed as part of a common plan to use hunger as a method of war and other acts of violence against the civilian population of Gaza as a means to eliminate Hamas; secure the return of the hostages that Hamas has kidnapped, and collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza, whom they perceived as a threat to Israel.

He explained that the effects of using starvation as a method of war, along with other attacks and collective punishments against the civilian population of Gaza, are acute, visible and widely known, and have been confirmed by multiple witnesses interviewed, including local and international doctors. . They include malnutrition, dehydration, profound suffering and an increasing number of deaths among the Palestinian population, including babies, other children and women.

?Israel, like all States, has the right to take measures to defend its population. However, this right does not exempt Israel or any State from its obligation to comply with international humanitarian law. Whatever military objectives they may have, the means Israel chose to achieve them in Gaza – that is, intentionally causing death, hunger, great suffering and serious harm to the body or health of the civilian population – Are they criminals?, pointed out the chief prosecutor.

?Today we emphasize once again that international law and the laws of armed conflict apply to everyone. No infantryman, no commander, no civilian leader – no one? can act with impunity. Nothing can justify intentionally depriving human beings, including so many women and children, of the basic necessities necessary for life. "Nothing can justify the taking of hostages or attacks against civilians," he added.

In that sense, he said that the independent judges of the International Criminal Court are the only arbiters who determine whether the necessary standard for the issuance of arrest warrants has been met.

?If they accept my applications and issue the requested orders, I will work closely with the Registrar in all efforts to detain the named persons. I count on all States Parties to the Rome Statute to take these requests and the subsequent judicial decision with the same seriousness that they have shown in other situations, fulfilling their obligations under the Statute. “I am also willing to work with non-party States in our common quest for accountability,” Karim AA Khan KC made clear.

To these possible arrests would be added those of Yahya Sinwar (head of the Islamic Resistance Movement "Hamas" in the Gaza Strip); Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri, better known as DEIF (commander-in-chief of Hamas's military wing, known as Al-Qassam Brigades) and Ismail Haniyeh (head of the Hamas Political Bureau), for, among other things, extermination as a crime against humanity; murder as a crime against humanity and as a war crime; and taking hostages as a war crime.

In addition to rape and other acts of sexual violence as crimes against humanity, and also as war crimes in the context of captivity; torture and other inhuman acts; cruel treatment and outrages to personal dignity.

In this vein, the prosecutor reiterated, once again, his call for the immediate release of all hostages taken from Israel and their safe return to their families. "This is a fundamental requirement of international humanitarian law."

Finally, he said that if we do not demonstrate a willingness to apply the law equally, if it is considered to be applied selectively, "we will be creating the conditions for its collapse." In doing so, we will be loosening the remaining bonds that hold us together, the stabilizing connections between all communities and individuals, the safety net to which all victims turn in times of suffering. Is this the real risk we face right now?

You may be interested in: "The conflict in Gaza is not religious or racial, it is a position based on values": Camilo Pérez Bustillo, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild

Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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