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International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan (center)YouTube/Screenshot

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(LifeSiteNews) — The International Criminal Court on Monday filed applications for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leadership over alleged “war crimes” committed in Israel and the Gaza strip, including murder, torture, the starvation of civilians, and “other inhumane acts.”

On May 20 Karim A. A. Khan, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), delivered a video statement announcing that his office is filing “applications for arrest warrants” in relation to Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant, as well as Yahya Sinwar (head of Hamas), Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri (commander of the Hamas military Al-Qassam Brigades), and Ismail Haniyeh (head of Hamas political bureau) over “war crimes” committed “in the context of the situation in the state of Palestine.”

Khan insisted that, “on the basis of evidence collected and examined” by his office, the “three senior leaders of Hamas” named “bear criminal responsibility” for the following alleged crimes “committed on the territory of Israel and the state of Palestine from at least the 7th of October, 2023”:

Extermination as a crime against humanity; murder as a crime against humanity and a war crime; the taking of hostages as a war crime; rape and other acts of sexual violence during captivity as crimes against humanity and as war crimes; torture during captivity as a crime against humanity and as a war crime; other inhumane acts during captivity as a crime against humanity; cruel treatment during captivity as a war crime; and outrages against personal dignity during captivity as a war crime.

“These crimes were committed… as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population of Israel by Hamas and other armed groups,” Khan added.

In a statement on the ICC website, the group notes that its investigation centered on interviews with “victims and survivors, including former hostages and witnesses from sex major attack locations,” as well as relying “on evidence such as CCTV footage, authenticated audio, photo and video material, statements by Hamas members including the alleged perpetrators named above, and expert evidence.”

READ: Pro-Israel groups attempt to downplay Gaza death toll by manipulating UN figures

The prosecutor also alleged that both the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant “bear criminal responsibility” for “international crimes committed on the territory of the state of Palestine from at least the 8th of October, 2023.”

Khan identified their alleged crimes as:

Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare; willfully causing great suffering, serious injury to body or health or cruel treatment; willful killing or murder; intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, as well as crimes against humanity of extermination and/or murder; persecution and allegations of committing crimes of other inhumane acts.

According to the ICC’s statement, the court argues “that the crimes against humanity charged were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population pursuant to State policy.”

“Unfortunately, these crimes continue to this day,” Khan added.

Continuing, the ICC stated that it has based its evidentiary assessment on “interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses, authenticated video, photo and audio material, satellite imagery and statements from the alleged perpetrator group,” which they say “shows that Israel has intentionally and systematically deprived the civilian population in all parts of Gaza of objects indispensable to human survival.”

In his video address, Khan argued that Netanyahu and Gallant enacted a “total siege over Gaza” from October 8 last year, which included targeting civilians by cutting off “cross-border water pipelines from Israel to Gaza – Gazans’ principal source of clean water – for a prolonged period” alongside the “obstruction of aid delivery by humanitarian agencies.”

READ: The disturbing reality of how Christians are treated in the Holy Land

“My Office submits that these acts were committed as part of a common plan to use starvation as a method of war and other acts of violence against the Gazan civilian population as a means to (i) eliminate Hamas; (ii) secure the return of the hostages which Hamas has abducted, and (iii) collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza, whom they perceived as a threat to Israel,” the ICC stated.

Khan closed his remarks on Israel’s alleged war crimes by stating that while Israel “like all states has the right to defend its population” as well as retrieve hostages taken, “those rights do not absolve Israel of its obligations to comply with international humanitarian law.”

The ICC concluded in its statement that, “Now, more than ever, we must collectively demonstrate that international humanitarian law, the foundational baseline for human conduct during conflict, applies to all individuals and applies equally across the situations addressed by my Office and the Court. This is how we will prove, tangibly, that the lives of all human beings have equal value.”

Ahead of Monday’s statement, Netanyahu decried the ICC investigation into his actions in Gaza as an “outrage of historic proportions” and labeled the effort as “pure antisemitism.”

Help Christians who escaped Gaza: LifeFunder