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Hamas urges the ICC to withdraw arrest warrants against its leaders

Hamas called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to withdraw a request for arrest warrants against three leaders of the Palestinian group.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has requested arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders, including political leader Ismail Haniyeh.

In a statement, Hamas said the ICC arrest warrants came late after seven months “during which the Israeli occupation has committed thousands of crimes against Palestinian civilians, including children, women, doctors and journalists.”

It denounced Khan’s attempt to “equate the victim with the executioner by issuing arrest warrants against a number of Palestinian resistance leaders.”

Hamas called on the ICC to withdraw arrest warrants against Hamas leaders, calling it a violation of UN conventions and resolutions.

Khan said he has reasonable grounds to believe that Netanyahu and Gallant bear criminal responsibility for “war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed in Palestinian territories, particularly in the Gaza Strip, from at least October 8.

The prosecutor added that they have also applied for arrest warrants against three Hamas leaders, Ismail Haniyeh, Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif, for “war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed in Israel and the Gaza Strip “as of at least October 7, 2023.”

Israel continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in the enclave.

Since then, more than 35,500 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of whom were women and children, and more than 79,600 others have been injured as a result of a Hamas attack since October last year.

More than seven months after the start of Israel’s war, large parts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel has been accused of “genocide” by the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure that its forces do not commit genocide and to take measures to ensure that humanitarian aid is provided to civilians in Gaza.