Karim Khan
Karim KhanREUTERS/Michael Kooren

Professor Anne Bayefsky, the Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and President of Human Rights Voices, spoke to Arutz Sheva - Israel National News about International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan's announcement that he is seeking arrest warrants for Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of "war crimes and crimes against humanity" over the October 7 attacks on Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza.

"The move by the ICC Prosecutor is a political attempt to destroy the state of Israel dressed up as law," Prof. Bayefsky said.

"It isn't law to equate the self-defense of the democratic Jewish state - dutifully conducted by its Prime Minister and Defense Minister - with the genocidal ambitions of Palestinian terrorists. It isn't law to charge the leaders of the Jewish state with "extermination" and the behavior of Nazi Germany. Criminalizing the self-determination of the Jewish people is itself criminal," she said.

According to Bayefsky, "The Biden Administration bears direct responsibility for encouraging this move by repeatedly questioning the legality of Israel's self-defense. Those who think that Americans can avoid this obscene international power-grab under the guise of alleged international "law" are terribly mistaken. Now is the time for the American Congress to make good on its legal obligations to sanction all those responsible for this outrage and anyone who attempts to implement it."

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN today (Monday), ICC Chief Prosecutor Khan said that in addition to Sinwar and Netanyahu, he is seeking warrants against Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as two top Hamas leaders: leader of the Al Qassem Brigades Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader.

Khan told CNN that the charges against Sinwar, Haniyeh, and al-Masri include “extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape and sexual assault in detention.”

He added: “The world was shocked on the 7th of October when people were ripped from their bedrooms, from their homes, from the different kibbutzim in Israel. People have suffered enormously.”

As for the Israeli officials, Khan said the charges include: “Causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war, including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, deliberately targeting civilians in conflict."