South Africa congratulates ICC's move to seek detention of Israeli, Hamas leaders

(MENAFN) South Africa has expressed strong support for the decision by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to pursue arrest warrants for leaders of both Hamas and Israel, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This announcement was made by the South African presidency on Monday.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan revealed on Monday that he had filed applications for the arrest of Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on charges of genocide in Gaza. Additionally, he is seeking to apprehend Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, the commander of its military wing Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, and the head of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh. Khan stated that there are "reasonable grounds to believe" these individuals are responsible for "war crimes and crimes against humanity" in Gaza and Israel.

This legal action follows over eight months of extensive airstrikes and ground offensives in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which, according to Gaza’s health ministry, have resulted in 35,456 deaths and 79,476 injuries. The conflict began when Hamas fighters launched unexpected raids into Israeli territory on October 7, killing approximately 1,200 people and taking over 200 hostages.

As a staunch advocate for Palestinian independence, South Africa had filed a case against West Jerusalem in December, urging the United Nations court to arrest the Israeli prime minister for allegedly conducting a "genocide" campaign against Gaza. Additionally, Pretoria lodged a separate case at the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of committing systematic war crimes in Gaza by obstructing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians.



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