Tue 9-July-2024

Hamas plans a legal response to ICC arrest warrants

Friday 21-June-2024


The Hamas Movement declared that it is planning a legal response against the International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants against three of its top leaders.

Calling the war crimes accusations against three of its top leaders – Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haneyya and Mohammed Deif – “baseless”, Hamas said it would argue Palestinians have “the right, indeed the duty, to resist occupation by all means available, including armed resistance.”

The ICC’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan said in May the three Hamas leaders bore responsibility for the attack on southern Israel on October 7, 2023, which killed at least 1,139 people with 250 captives taken to Gaza.

The same day, Khan announced he was seeking arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war minister Yoav Gallant.

In its statement, Hamas described Khan as biased in Israel’s favor.

It said the prosecutor “erred in considering that the state of conflict began on October 7,” asserting it began in 1948 with Israel’s establishment.

The Movement pointed out that the Public Prosecutor believed the Israeli sexual assault accusations, although the occupation was unable to provide a single piece of evidence for its claims.

“The bias of the Public Prosecutor appeared blatantly when he brought charges and requested the issuance of an arrest warrant against the head of the Movement, who is a political figure residing outside Gaza.,” the statement reads.

However, the Public Prosecutor, the statement continued, did not direct any charges against the Israeli Chief of Staff, who ordered all killing, destruction, and genocide operations in the Gaza Strip.

The Movement further affirmed its respect for international law, while the Israeli occupation rebels against it and against the resolutions of international legitimacy.

The Public Prosecutor and the International Criminal Court are facing a historical test of their credibility, it concluded.

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