Headline RoundupMay 20th, 2024

ICC Prosecutor Seeks Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu and Sinwar

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The International Criminal Court's (ICC) prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's leader in Gaza, for potential war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

The Details: The ICC prosecutor also wants to issue arrest warrants for Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ Al Qassem Brigades leader Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri — known as Mohammed Deif — and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The alleged crimes committed by Hamas include “extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape, and sexual assault in detention.” Purported Israeli crimes included systematically depriving civilians of “objects indispensable to human survival,” including food, water, medicine, and energy. Leaders from the Israeli government, including the foreign minister and president, have rebuked the ICC prosecutor's intentions.

For Context: Following Hamas’ October 7 attack, in which it killed roughly 1,200 people and took about 250 hostages, Israel launched a military response that has reportedly killed tens of thousands in Gaza. Both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs have said they were victims of ethnic cleansing — claims that have taken center stage at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ settles legal disputes between countries, and the ICC prosecutes individuals. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage often echoed partisan divisions on the war in Gaza; while Fox News (Right bias) put “war crimes” in quotes, framing the charges as dubious, CNN (Lean Left bias) differed from other outlets by listing Sinwar before Netanyahu in its headline, which could frame the charges as balanced between the sides, rather than as a move against Israel. This summary was developed with the help of AllSides' AI technology. Update 5/24/24 3:18pm ET: A previous version incorrectly said the ICC itself was seeking an arrest warrant; the ICC's prosecutor is seeking the arrest warrants, and ICC judges are as of now considering the request. We regret the error. 

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

AllSides Picks

More News about Middle East from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right