ICC orders arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu – Day 226

ICC orders arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu – Day 226

Arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant, and three Hamas members; 3,000 aid trucks wait at the border to enter, hundreds of medical patients wait to exit; Israel assassinates Gaza police; as Israel destroys northern Gaza, more troops head to southern Gaza as well; West Bank former prisoner, 30, dies after medical neglect; Israeli settlers attack aid trucks bound for Gaza; Israel wants US to withdraw support for two-state solution; president of Iran killed in helicopter crash; Netanyahu controls cabinet’s access to US leaders, doesn’t want to end war; Glasgow University rector investigation incited by anonymous Gnasherjew website; NYPD overreacts to peaceful Nakba protest in Brooklyn

By IAK staff, from reports

ICC Prosecutor announces applications for arrest warrants in the situation in the State of Palestine:

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters about the violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in The Hague, Netherlands, October 12, 2023.
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters about the violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in The Hague, Netherlands, October 12, 2023. (photo)

Statement: On the basis of evidence collected and examined by my Office, I have reasonable grounds to believe that Benjamin NETANYAHU, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Yoav GALLANT, the Minister of Defense of Israel, bear criminal responsibility for  the following war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least 8 October 2023:

  • Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(b)(xxv) of the Statute;
  • Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health contrary to article 8(2)(a)(iii), or cruel treatment as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(c)(i);
  • Wilful killing contrary to article 8(2)(a)(i), or Murder as a war crime contrary to article 8(2)(c)(i);
  • Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as a war crime contrary to articles 8(2)(b)(i), or 8(2)(e)(i);
  • Extermination and/or murder contrary to articles 7(1)(b) and 7(1)(a), including in the context of deaths caused by starvation, as a crime against humanity;
  • Persecution as a crime against humanity contrary to article 7(1)(h);
  • Other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity contrary to article 7(1)(k).

My Office submits that the war crimes alleged in these applications were committed in the context of an international armed conflict between Israel and Palestine, and a non-international armed conflict between Israel and Hamas (together with other Palestinian Armed Groups) running in parallel. We submit 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. These crimes, in our assessment, continue to this day.

The ICC Prosecutor also believes that Yahya SINWARMohammed Diab Ibrahim AL-MASRI, and Ismail HANIYEH bear criminal responsibility for extermination, murder, taking hostages, rape and other acts of sexual violence, torture, and other inhumane acts “from at least 7 October 2023.”

[See refutations here.]

(Read the full statement here.)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Yoav Gallant (photo)

Israel preventing 3,000 trucks from entering Gaza: Media office:

Al Jazeera reports: Gaza’s Government Media Office has said that 3,000 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have been waiting for approval from Israel to enter the besieged coastal enclave for two weeks.

In a statement on its official Telegram channel, the office said that the Israeli army is also preventing 690 sick and wounded people from traveling abroad for medical treatment as the Rafah and Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) border crossings remain closed.

Earlier today, UN humanitarian aid chief Martin Griffiths warned of “apocalyptic” consequences if these two aid crossings are not opened soon.

NOTE: Thousands of aid trucks are reportedly waiting at the southern border of Gaza, where Israel has made it extremely difficult to pass, employing complicated and arbitrary procedures. Israel has on multiple occasions fired at individuals waiting for food aid (recently killing over 100 at one time), at least once allegedly sending fake text messages to Gazans, telling them to assemble and then shooting at them when they did; Israel has also attacked food aid convoys and those who accompanied them several times. Additionally, Israeli citizens have blocked a border crossing for weeks with no meaningful attempt by Israel to reopen it; they have also attacked trucks they believed were heading to Gaza, destroying their contents and in some cases starting them on fire.
In mid-March, Israel promised to “flood” Gaza with aid, but has failed to do so.
The US has for months expressed its desire to see appropriate amounts of humanitarian aid reaching the starving people of Gaza on one hand, while undermining Gaza’s largest aid organization on the other.
Meanwhile, the US has built a “temporary pier” off the Gaza coast to receive aid by sea – at a cost of at least $320 million – and has, along with other countries, airdropped packages of aid into Gaza – a practice that has caused over 20 Palestinian deaths due to malfunction.
The Biden administration has so far not used its leverage as the provider of billions of dollars in military aid to and for Israel (with one exception), a move that could potentially end the war in short order.

Gaza’s interior ministry condemns Israel’s killing of police official:

Al Jazeera reports: Gaza’s interior ministry has released a statement denouncing Israel’s “assassination of the director of police investigations for central Gaza and his escort while they were carrying out their police duty this morning”.

The ministry identified the official as Colonel Zaher al-Houli. Four other police officers were killed by Israeli troops in Nuseirat refugee camp last night as well, the ministry said.

“The repeated targeting of police officers and members of the police service aims to spread chaos within Palestinian society,” it said.

“We reiterate that the police is a civilian body protected under international law and the assassination of police officers is unjustified.”

HA’ARETZ ADDS: The Israeli military said in a statement that two of the officers killed were terrorists.

In February, Israel targeted a vehicle carrying six Palestinian police officers in the Khirbat al-Adas neighborhood in Rafah, killing them instantly.

Witnesses said the officers had been securing the passage of a flour truck when Israeli aircraft hit their car, ripping the passengers to pieces.

Israel’s army destroyed 300 homes in Jabalia:

The Israeli forces have destroyed 300 homes in Jabalia in northern Gaza since the beginning of its operation in the city earlier this month.

A statement on Telegram said dozens of people have been killed in Israeli attacks and many others are still under the rubble.

Fourth Israeli military brigade to fight in Rafah:

Israel’s Channel 12 broadcaster has quoted army sources as saying that the fourth military brigade had joined the military operation in Rafah, bringing the number of brigades operating in Gaza to nine.

Farouk Al-Khatib, 30, imprisoned by Israel for 4 months without charge or trial, dies:

IMEMC reports: It was announced after midnight that the freed prisoner, Farouk Ahmed Al-Khatib, from the village of Abu Shukheidim, northwest of Ramallah, died in the Istishari Hospital.

Farouk al-Khatib
Farouk al-Khatib died at the age of 30 after his health began to fail while in Israeli prison (photo)

Prisoner Al-Khatib (30 years old), who was released on the twentieth of last December, was subjected to medical neglect in the occupation prisons despite suffering from cancer.

He spent four months in administrative detention, and was released two months before the end of his detention period.

The Prisoners’ Club indicated that throughout his last period of detention, Al-Khatib was detained in (Nafha) prison after being transferred from (Ofer) prison, and this was the longest period of his detention there, until he was recently transferred to (Ramla Prison Clinic), and finally to (Soroka) Hospital, before being released.

The club stressed, in previous statements, that the case of the martyr Al-Khatib is not the only case of detainees released from occupation prisons in a serious and difficult health condition.

Settler militias attack aid trucks bound for Gaza

WAFA reports: Sunday afternoon, a group of extremist Israeli colonists attacked two aid trucks loaded with essential food supplies at the Tarqumiya crossing, located northwest of Hebron. The trucks were en route to the Gaza Strip to deliver much-needed assistance to Palestinians suffering from the ongoing Israeli aggression.

Palestinian sources informed WAFA that the colonists vandalized a significant portion of the cargo, scattering the food supplies on the ground in an attempt to prevent the aid from reaching its destination.

This marks the eighth instance in which aid trucks and their drivers have been assaulted by mobs of Israeli colonists at the Tarqumiya crossing, with such attacks occurring under the protection of the Israeli military.

The recurrent attacks on humanitarian aid convoys exacerbate the already dire situation in Gaza, where the ongoing Israeli military offensive has led to severe shortages of food, medical supplies, and other essential goods.

Israeli colonists also attacked several more aid trucks and trucks loaded with feed.

AFP ADDS: After a recent series of attacks on Gaza-bound trucks in Israel, a group of Israeli peace activists on Sunday travelled with an aid convoy to protect it, an AFP correspondent said.

WAFA REPORTED FRIDAY: Israeli colonist mobs blocked and vandalized over 25 trucks on Thursday and Wednesday, assuming that they were delivering desperately needed humanitarian aid meant for the starving population of Gaza.

Palestinian children queue with their containers for food at Rafah’s last remaining food distribution center
Palestinian children queue with their containers for food at Rafah’s last remaining food distribution center (photo)

Israeli soldiers shoot at firefighters near Nablus

WAFA reports: Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at Palestinian crews working to extinguish fires south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on Mount Gerzim.

Citing a Palestinian security source, it said that Israeli soldiers stationed at a military post on the mountain targeted the firefighters with gunfire, and that no injuries were reported.

Israel seeks bipartisan US support against establishment of a Palestinian state

Reuters reports: Israel called for bipartisan support on Sunday from the United States against the establishment of a Palestinian state, which it said would be a reward for Hamas and its backer Iran.

European Union members including Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta have said they could recognize a Palestinian state this month, seeing a two-state solution as essential for lasting peace.

Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, who met top House Republican Elise Stefanik earlier, said if a Palestinian state was established, Iran would use it as a base to “work towards the destruction of Israel”.

Stefanik has played a key role in trying to stem the protests that have broken out across U.S. college campuses against Israel’s war in Gaza and in support of Palestinians’ right to self-determination. [Stefanik’s top campaign donor is AIPAC.]

NOTE: Israel has one of the most advanced armed forces in the world, and is a nuclear power.
The US has for years called for a two-state solution.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi killed in helicopter crash

Reuters reports: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed after his helicopter crashed in poor weather in mountains near the Azerbaijan border, officials and state media said on Monday.

The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew was found early on Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions.

Supreme Leader Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, said First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, would take over as interim president, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Under the Islamic Republic’s constitution, a new presidential election must be held within 50 days.

Footage from Iranian state television showed wreckage scattered on a foggy hillside, while separate images from IRNA showed Red Crescent workers carrying a covered body on a stretcher. All those aboard the helicopter were killed, a senior Iranian official had earlier told Reuters.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani was appointed as acting foreign minister following the death of Amirabdollahian, IRNA said.

Aljazeera reports:: “Raisi led Iran through a standoff with Israel as the two countries squared off over Israel’s relentless assault on Gaza, now approaching its eighth month. Iran has been outspoken in its condemnation of Israel’s brutal attacks on Palestinian civilians.”

RECOMMENDED READING: Who died alongside Iran’s President Raisi in the helicopter crash?
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister have been killed in a helicopter crash, state media has reported, after search teams located the wreckage.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister have been killed in a helicopter crash, state media has reported, after search teams located the wreckage. (PHOTO)

Bibi blocks Israeli intel chiefs’ meetings with U.S. officials:

Axios reports: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has banned his intelligence and security chiefs from meeting with U.S. officials and lawmakers multiple times since the war in Gaza began, three U.S. and Israeli officials told Axios.

Netanyahu seems to be trying to control what American politicians and diplomats hear from Israel — at a time when his government is deeply divided over his war strategy, and relations with the U.S. are growing more tense, the officials said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo)

Netanyahu’s most recent push to control the messaging about the war came three weeks ago, when he banned directors of the Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence and security agencies from meeting with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the U.S. officials said.

Rubio, vice chair of the Senate’s intelligence committee, requested the meetings during his visit to Israel last month. Netanyahu himself met with Rubio. The senator’s office declined to comment. Netanyahu’s move wasn’t a shot at Rubio, the officials said.

Instead, the U.S. officials and some Netanyahu critics in Israel saw it as a sign of what appears to be his growing suspicion about Israel’s intelligence, military and security establishment, which hold divergent views about how the prime minister is carrying out the war.

Those agency leaders think Israel needs to craft a clearer strategy for post-war Gaza, and that there should be some role for the Palestinian Authority once Hamas is defeated.

In the past few days, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and cabinet Minister Benny Gantz have publicly demanded Netanyahu draft a post-war strategy.

Netanyahu rejects the need for a strategy until Hamas is defeated and opposes the Palestinian Authority having a leadership role in post-Hamas Gaza.

Netanyahu said to reject negotiators’ bid to formulate new hostage deal proposal:

Times of Israel reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday rejected proposals by Israeli negotiators for renewing indirect talks with Hamas for a hostage release deal, according to reports by major Israeli networks on Sunday.

According to major Israeli networks,, Netanyahu said: “All these proposals will lead to an end to the war. We tried and made significant overtures. Hamas rejected everything.”

Channel 12 quoted war cabinet minister Benny Gantz as retorting: “It is apparent you are unhappy with [the negotiators’] work. If that is so, replace them and bring someone you trust and believe in.”

When Netanyahu responded that he “will not agree to any proposal that ends the war,” Gantz’s fellow party member, minister Gadi Eisenkot, was quoted as saying: “No one here wants to stop the war, but your position does not allow us to bring back the hostages. You’re not leaving the team with any possible path toward reaching a deal.”

Glasgow University rector investigated after campaign against him by GnasherJew:

The Telegraph reports: The General Medical Council (GMC) has opened an investigation into the rector of Glasgow University following controversial comments he has made about the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Sunday Telegraph understands.

Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu-Sittah speaks to reporters outside Al-Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu-Sittah speaks to reporters outside Al-Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip. (photo)

Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta, a British-Palestinian plastic surgeon, is being investigated after at least one complaint was submitted to the regulator about his comments…Earlier this month, the website GnasherJew, which monitors social media content, urged followers to report Dr. Abu Sitta to the GMC over the publication of controversial online posts.

[GnasherJew is an anonymous pro-Israel site.]

Abu Sitta told the Jewish Chronicle: “While I may have used emotive language at the funeral of a friend or following an extrajudicial killing, I vehemently oppose terrorism, and civilian casualties on all sides. As a surgeon, my vocation is preserving life and I repeat my calls for a sustainable ceasefire and lasting peace.”

NOTE: Dr. Abu Sitta has recently been banned from entering several countries in order to attend conferences or talk about his experience working in the Gaza Strip.Middle East Monitor reports: The Netherlands banned British-Palestinian surgeon, Ghassan Abu-Sittah, from entering the country due to a Schengen-wide ban introduced by Germany, a prominent Dutch rights group announced yesterday.

New York Times reports: Officers were filmed punching three demonstrators at the protest in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The police said protesters were blocking the streets.

Violent confrontations at a pro-Palestinian rally in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, on Saturday reflected what some local officials and protest organizers called an unexpectedly aggressive Police Department response, with officers flooding the neighborhood and using force against protesters.

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator was detained by the police in Brooklyn on Saturday. One officer was captured on video repeatedly punching the man.
A pro-Palestinian demonstrator was detained by the police in Brooklyn on Saturday. One officer was captured on video repeatedly punching the man. (photo)

At the rally, which drew hundreds of demonstrators, at least two officers wearing the white shirts of commanders were filmed punching three protesters who were prone in the middle of a crosswalk.

The police arrested around 40 people who were “unlawfully blocking roadways,” Kaz Daughtry, the department’s deputy commissioner of operations, said on social media on Sunday.

Bay Ridge has a significant Arab American population and hosts demonstrations in mid-May every year to commemorate what Palestinians call the Nakba, or “catastrophe” — when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes during the war that led to Israel’s founding in 1948.

Andrew Gounardes, a state senator and a Democrat who represents the area, said local politicians had been in touch with the commanding officer of the 68th police precinct before the preplanned protest and said there had been no indication that there would be such a heavy police response. He called the videos he saw of the events “deeply concerning.”

“It certainly seems like the police came ready for a much more aggressive and a much more confrontational demonstration than perhaps they had gotten,” he added.

Justin Brannan, a Democrat who is the city councilman for the area, said the protest was smaller than last year’s but that officers had come from all over the city to police it. He said their approach appeared to be directed by 1 Police Plaza, the department headquarters in Manhattan.

“These were not our local cops. Clearly, there was a zero-tolerance edict sent down from 1PP, which escalated everything and made it worse,” Mr. Brannan said.



Harvard Crimson: Harvard Students, Faculty Denounce Suspensions of Pro-Palestine Protesters.
Palestine Chronicle: A Message to FIFA: Enough Hypocrisy and Double Standards.
IMEMC Reports.

Palestinian death toll from October 7 – May 19: at least 35,968* (35,456 in Gaza* – 4,959 women (20%), 7,797 children (32%) identified – and at least 512 in the West Bank (117 children). This does not include an estimated 10,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 43,640 Palestinian deaths. (Information on Gaza statistics here.)

At least 42 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 14 from West Bank).

At least 31 Palestinian children and several adults have died due to malnutrition**.

About 1.7 million, or 75% of Gaza’s population are currently displaced.

About 1.1 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are facing Catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – May 19: at least 84,406 (including at least 79,476 in Gaza and 5,040 in the West Bank).

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties in Gaza.

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – May 19: ~1,433 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 283 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza; 16 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

Times of Israel reports: The IDF also listed 41 soldiers killed due to friendly fire in Gaza and other military-related accidents – nearly 16%.

NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel on October 7 were caused by Israeli soldiers.

*Previously, IAK did not include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile was being disputed. However, given that much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, Israel had previously bombed the hospital and has attacked many others, Israel is prohibiting outside experts from investigating the scene, and since the UN and other agencies are including the deaths from the attack in their cumulative totals, if Americans knew is now also doing so.

**Euro-Med Monitor reports that Gaza’s elderly are dying at an alarmingly high rate. The majority die at home and are buried either close to their residences or in makeshift graves dispersed across the Strip. There are currently more than 140 such cemeteries. Additionally, according to Euromed, thousands have died from starvation, malnourishment, and inadequate medical care; these are considered indirect victims as they were not registered in hospitals. 

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org

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