ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israeli, Hamas leaders

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The International Criminal Court prosecutor's office said on Monday it had requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defence chief and three Hamas leaders for alleged war crimes.

Prosecutor Karim Khan's office said it suspected all five - Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Al-Masri and Ismail Haniyeh - bore criminal responsibility for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Israel or the Gaza Strip.

Israel has denied committing war crimes in the Gaza war, triggered by the Hamas-led attack on Israel on October 7.

The ICC's decision "equates the victim with the executioner", Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official told Reuters.

Israeli Opposition Leader, Yair Lapid said the decision to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant is "a disaster".

It will be up to the court's pre-trial judges to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to issue warrants.

Meanwhile, at least 35,562 Palestinians have been killed and 79,652 injured in the Israeli military offensive since October 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

One hundred and six Palestinians were killed and 176 injured in the past 24 hours, the ministry added.

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