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  • Will Irvine

ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli, Hamas Leaders


Just five years ago, it would’ve seemed impossible to prosecute Israeli leaders for the heinous and continuous war crimes they perpetrate against the Palestinian people. Perhaps, then, the ICC’s declaration that they will seek arrest warrants against PM Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief Yoav Gallant is the closest sign of the crumbling US-Israeli imperial project that we have yet seen.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan of the International Criminal Court told media he would be seeking the issue of arrest warrants against several prominent leaders in the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, including several Hamas and Israeli politicians.

The most recent and prominent arrest warrant filed by the ICC concerns Vlamdimir Putin, who is charged with war crimes related to illegal child abductions during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 124 signatory nations of the ICC, including Aotearoa and all of Europe except Turkey, are obligated to arrest individuals charged under the ICC if they set foot within their borders.

Detainees will then be returned to the Hague in the Netherlands, where they face trial for their crimes and possible sentencing. While Israel and the US are not signatories to the ICC, Palestinian leaders (including Hamas) are, and the ICC claims jurisdiction over Gaza and the West Bank, where Israel’s war crimes have taken place.

While it is unlikely that Netanyahu will be successfully arrested, the decision severely limits both his personal freedom of movement and the international legitimacy of his government. The question remains - is Israel equipped to deal with international accountability for the first time in their brief existence? Or will this further escalate the divide between the democratic world and the US-Israel hegemony?


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