Israel and the U.S. on Monday both harshly condemned an effort by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor to seek arrest warrants for Israeli officials in connection with the seven-month war in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called chief prosecutor Karim Khan’s announcement a “disgrace” and an attack on the Israeli military and all of Israel. He also vowed to press ahead with Israel’s war against Hamas militants. Earlier Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Yoav Gallant said the military would expand its operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah in its efforts to crush Hamas.

“As prime minister of Israel, I reject with disgust the Hague prosecutor’s comparison between democratic Israel and the mass murders of Hamas,” Netanyahu said. “No pressure and no decision in any international forum will prevent us from striking those who seek to destroy us.”

In his announcement earlier Monday, Khan said he believes Netanyahu, Gallant and three Hamas leaders — Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

President Joe Biden issued a strongly worded statement denouncing Khan’s announcement, saying “whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.”

“We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security,” Biden added. The Biden administration has opposed a full-fledged invasion of Rafah, however, because of fears for the civilian population.

Hamas issued a separate statement denouncing the request to arrest its leaders, accusing Khan of trying to “equate the victim with the executioner.” Hamas said it has the right to resist Israeli occupation, including “armed resistance.”

Against the backdrop of the ongoing tensions, Iranian officials announced that President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were found dead Monday hours after their helicopter crashed in fog, leaving the Islamic Republic without two key leaders. Iran backs Hamas, and the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, also supported by Tehran, has fired rockets at Israel. Last month, Iran launched its own an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Gallant and the Israeli military leadership in Tel Aviv earlier Monday.

Israel launched its offensive after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted about 250.

The war has killed at least 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between combatants and civilians. Around 80% of the population of 2.3 million Palestinians has been displaced within the territory, often multiple times.

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Iranian president and foreign minister killed in helicopter crash.

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Netanyahu.

Senior Republican close to Trump criticizes Biden’s arms holdup in speech to Israeli parliament.

Pro-Palestinian protesters at Drexel University ignore calls to disband

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here’s the latest:

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU CALLS ICC REQUEST A ‘DISGRACE’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the move by a war crimes prosecutor to seek his arrest as a “disgrace” and an attack on the Israeli military and all of Israel.

In a statement, Netanyahu also vowed to press ahead with Israel’s war against Hamas militants.

Netanyahu said the request for an arrest warrant was “absurd” and accused the prosecution of antisemitism.

“As prime minister of Israel, I reject with disgust the Hague prosecutor’s comparison between democratic Israel and the mass murders of Hamas,” he said. “No pressure and no decision in any international forum will prevent us from striking those who seek to destroy us.”

PRESIDENT BIDEN CONDEMNS ICC REQUEST FOR ISRAELI OFFICIALS’ ARREST

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday condemned as “outrageous” an attempt by the chief prosecutor of the world’s top war crimes to seek arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with those of Hamas over actions taken during their seven-month war.

In a sharply worded statement, Biden rejected the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor’s to seek the arrest of Netanyahu and Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant, saying “whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.”

“We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security,” Biden added.

The court’s prosecutor, Karim Khan, accused Netanyahu, Gallant, and three Hamas leaders — Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

A panel of three judges will decide whether to issue the arrest warrants and allow a case to proceed.

US REJECTS ICC PROSECUTOR’S ‘EQUIVALENCE OF ISRAEL WITH HAMAS’

WASHINGTON — The United States government on Monday vehemently rejected a request by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor to arrest Israeli leaders for their actions in the war in Gaza.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said Monday that he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and three Hamas leaders: Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh. Khan says all are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel during the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas.

“We reject the Prosecutor’s equivalence of Israel with Hamas,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a written statement. “It is shameful. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that carried out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and is still holding dozens of innocent people hostage, including Americans.” The statement also reiterated the U.S. position that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the conflict.

Hamas issued a separate statement denouncing the request to seek the arrests of its leaders, and accusing Khan of trying to “equate the victim with the executioner.” Hamas said it has the right to resist Israeli occupation, including “armed resistance.”

HAMAS DENOUNCES ICC DECISION TO ARREST ITS LEADERS

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Hamas militant group has denounced a request by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to seek the arrests of its leaders, as well as top Israeli leaders.

In a statement Monday, Hamas accused the prosecutor of trying to “equate the victim with the executioner.” It said it has the right to resist Israeli occupation, including “armed resistance.”

It also criticized the court for seeking the arrests of only two Israeli leaders and said it should seek warrants for others.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan said Monday that he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and three Hamas leaders: Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh. Khan says all are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel during the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas.

Both Sinwar and Deif are believed to be hiding in Gaza as Israel tries to hunt them down. But Haniyeh, the supreme leader of the Islamic militant group, is based in Qatar and frequently travels across the region.

ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS ICC MOVE AGAINST ISRAELI LEADERS A ‘HISTORIC DISGRACE’

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s foreign minister says the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court’s decision to seek arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is “a historic disgrace that will be remembered forever.”

Israel Katz said Monday that he would form a special committee to fight back against any such action and would work with world leaders to ensure that any such warrants are not enforced.

ICC PROSECUTOR SEEKS ARREST WARRANTS FOR ISRAELI AND HAMAS LEADERS

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says he’s seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in connection with their actions during the seven-month war between Israel and Hamas.

Karim Khan said that he believes Netanyahu, his defense minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders — Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The prosecutor must request the warrants from a pre-trial panel of three judges, who take on average two months to consider the evidence and determine if the proceedings can move forward.

Israel is not a member of the court, and even if the arrest warrants are issued, Netanyahu and Gallant do not face any immediate risk of prosecution. But Khan’s announcement deepens Israel’s isolation as it presses ahead with its war, and the threat of arrest could make it difficult for the Israeli leaders to travel abroad.

Both Sinwar and Deif are believed to be hiding in Gaza as Israel tries to hunt them down. But Haniyeh, the supreme leader of the Islamic militant group, is based in Qatar and frequently travels across the region.

There was no immediate comment from either side.

ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS MILITARY WILL EXPAND OPERATIONS INTO RAFAH

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the military would expand its operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah in talks Monday with a U.S. envoy.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan met Monday with Gallant and the Israeli military leadership in Tel Aviv. Sullivan’s visit comes two weeks into the military’s foray into Rafah, where troops have been battling Hamas fighters and escalating bombardment.

The Biden administration has opposed a full-fledged invasion of Rafah because of fears for the civilian population. So far Israeli forces have mainly been operating in eastern parts of the city, but the fighting has already triggered an exodus of more than 810,000 Palestinians, according to the U.N.

“I emphasized to him (Sullivan) Israel’s duty to expand the ground operation in Rafah, to dismantle Hamas and to return the hostages,” Gallant said in a post on X.

In his visit, Sullivan was also discussing postwar plans for Gaza at a time when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces criticism from the other members of his War Cabinet. Netanyahu’s main political rival Benny Gantz has threatened to leave the government if a plan is not created by June 8 that includes an international administration for postwar Gaza.

On Sunday, Sullivan held talks with Netanyahu to discuss an ambitious U.S. plan for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel and help the Palestinian Authority govern Gaza in exchange for a path to eventual statehood. Netanyahu has rejected the creation of a Palestinian state.

Sullivan met Monday with Gantz, whose office said the two discussed “prospects for advancing normalization with Saudi Arabia.”

PRO-PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATORS AT DREXEL UNIVERSITY REFUSE TO DISBAND

PHILADELPHIA — Pro-Palestinian protesters at Drexel University ignored a request to take down their encampment on Monday as arrests linked to U.S. campus demonstrations against the Israel-Hamas war surpassed the 3,000 mark nationwide.

Drexel’s campus remained on lockdown, with classes being held virtually as police kept watch over the demonstration on the school’s Korman Quad. Many Drexel employees were told to work from home.

In a statement issued a day earlier, Drexel President John Fry said as many as 60 protesters were at the encampment, which he decried as “intolerably disruptive to normal university operations.” He said there were “serious concerns about the conduct of some participants, including distressing reports and images” of protesters using antisemitic speech. Fry threatened disciplinary action against Drexel students participating in the protest.

More than 3,000 people have been arrested on U.S. campuses over the past month. Campuses have been calmer recently, with fewer arrests, as students leave for summer break. Still, colleges have been vigilant for disruptions to commencement ceremonies.

IRANIAN PRESIDENT, FOREIGN MINISTER KILLED IN HELICOPTER CRASH

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the country’s foreign minister were found dead Monday hours after their helicopter crashed in fog, leaving the Islamic Republic without two key leaders amid extraordinary tensions gripping the wider Middle East.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in the Shiite theocracy, quickly named a little-known vice president as caretaker and insisted the government was in control, but the deaths mark yet another blow to a country beset by pressures both at home and abroad.

Iran has offered no cause for the crash nor suggested sabotage brought down the helicopter, which fell in mountainous terrain in a sudden, intense fog.

In Tehran, Iran’s capital, businesses were open and children attended school Monday. However, there was a noticeable presence of both uniformed and plainclothes security forces downtown.

SUSPECTED ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES HIT NEAR SYRIA’S HOMS

DAMASCUS, Syria — Suspected Israeli airstrikes on Monday killed several people in the vicinity of the city of Homs in central Syria, according to pro-government news media and a war monitor.

Four people died and four others were wounded, the pro-government Al-Watan newspaper reported. The U.K.-based opposition war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes killed at least six members of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. There was no official confirmation of the strikes.

The observatory said the strikes hit next to a gas station south of Homs, in an area used by pro-Iranian militias, and at a Hezbollah site next to a school southwest of Homs, near the Syrian-Lebanese border. It said the strikes were the 40th time Israel had hit inside of Syria since the beginning of the year.

There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials. Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years, but rarely acknowledges them. When it does, it has said that it is seeking to stop Iran from expanding its foothold in Syria.

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