Palestinians are waiting for aid trucks to cross in central Gaza Strip on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Along with the ongoing bloodshed of war that has killed more than 36,000 people in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, came a wave of events and responses to the ongoing death and destruction.

Unprecedented legal actions against Israel included applications to the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three top Hamas officials for Crimes against Humanity in the brutal war raging since October of last year. 

Then the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the top judiciary court of the United Nations, ordered Israel to halt its military offensive in Rafah, where over one million Palestinians have sought refuge after other areas of Gaza were destroyed. 

The Zionist occupier state has failed to maintain a favorable view among other Nations. Israel, which usually enjoys unhindered impunity, is now sliding down a slippery slope of rejection and accountability.  Mass protests against the regime, charging it with genocide and demanding a permanent ceasefire continue. Pro-justice activism for Palestinians at over 100 colleges and universities worldwide abounds.


Given the worsening conditions of life faced by Palestinian civilians in Rafah, on May 24, the Court voted 13 to 2 against Israel’s continuing actions which may bring about the physical destruction in whole or in part of the Palestinians.

The ICJ has ruled that Israel must “immediately halt its military offensive” and “any other action in the Rafah,” in conformity with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

“The ICJ ruling is significant,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, University of Houston scholar and historian. “On the other hand, it doesn’t have a police force to impose the substance of its rulings,” he said, “But what you see is a steady drip, drip, drip against Israel. And there are those who suggest that we may be at the foothills of the beginning of the collapse of the Zionist project,” said Dr. Horne.

Meanwhile, Karim Khan, the Chief Prosecutor at the ICC, submitted to the Court Applications for Arrest Warrants for top Israeli leaders and Hamas officials on May 20. The warrants name Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Gallant and Hamas leaders, Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip; Muhammad Al-Deif, leader of its military wing; and Ismail Haniyeh, who heads Hamas’ Political Bureau. 

In his May 20 statement, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said, based on evidence collected and examined by his office, he has reasonable grounds to believe that the Israeli leaders “bear criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed in the Gaza strip from Oct. 8, 2023.

Crimes the two leaders are accused of include: 

• Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.

• Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health, and cruel treatment as a war crime.

• Willful killing or Murder.

• Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population.

• Extermination and/or murder, including in the context of deaths caused by starvation.

• Persecution and other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity.

“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),” said Mr. Khan.

The statement said the crimes against humanity charged were State policy and part of a widespread and systematic attack on the Palestinian civilian population. “These crimes, in our assessment, continue to this day,” said the prosecutor.

“My Office seeks to charge two of those most responsible, Netanyahu and Gallant, both as co-perpetrators and as superiors pursuant to Articles 25 and 28 of the Rome Statute,” he said.

According to World Public Law, Article 25 holds individuals criminally responsible, and Article 28 can hold a military commander, or person effectively acting as a military commander criminally responsible for crimes committed by forces under their command and control.

Reactions from other countries to the news of the warrants have been mixed.

“Crimes committed in Gaza must be prosecuted at the highest level, regardless of the perpetrators,” Hadja Lahbib, Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Minister, wrote on X (formerly Twitter). emphasizing Belgium’s support for the work of the ICC. 

Palestinians walk through the debris after an Israeli air and ground offensive in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, May 15. Photo: AP Photo/Saher Alghorra

Hamas reaction

Al-Jazeera reported on May 20 that Hamas denounced the ICC Prosecutors decision to seek arrest warrants against its leaders, accusing Karim Khan of trying to “equate the victim with the executioner.”

Earlier this year, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan pressed the Muslim world to stand up for the Palestinian people. “Do you know that our Palestinian family, they don’t have strong friendship in the Muslim world,” he said, in a message called, “What Does Allah The Great Mahdi And The Great Messiah, Have To Say About The War In The Middle East?” on Feb. 25. 

“Why is that? Are we Muslims? Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, ‘‘You are not a Muslim if you don’t want for your brother what you want for yourself,’’ the Minister continued.

“Now, I know that the Muslim world feels the pain of the Palestinians, but they are afraid—afraid to stand. And from the rostrum, I am asking the Muslim world to stop fearing the consequence of standing,” said Minister Farrakhan.

“So, I am saying this openly to my brothers and sisters in Islam: You have to stand up against the genocide that is happening to our Palestinian family. They do not need platitudes; they don’t need cheap talk. They need the Muslim world to unite and say to Israel what you should say,” he exhorted.

The voices of opposition to the actions of Israel are not falling on deaf ears but what remains to be seen is if the actions by the ICC and ICJ will force change.

U.S. reaction 

“We don’t recognize the ICC jurisdiction. It’s just that simple,” President Joe Biden told reporters on May 23. Days earlier he dismissed Mr. Khan’s warrant applications as “outrageous,” and unjustifiable. He continued the familiar stance that the U.S. would “always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

Despite the cries of injustice growing louder from around the world on the continued suffering of the Palestinian people and Israel’s ongoing offensive resulting in the slaughter of the Palestinian people, Mr. Biden rejects the notion it is genocide.

Neither the U.S. nor Israel are signatories to the Rome Statute—the treaty that established the ICC—and have been at loggerheads with the Court. 

Mouin Rabbani, a Middle East analyst and commentator told The Final Call that he sees the ICC move as a “milestone” but doubts it will lead to any changes in Israel’s behavior on the ground.

Dr. Horne notes the move reflects Israel’s weakening international standing and the strengthening of the Palestinian position, also citing the announcement of Norway, Ireland, and Spain to formally recognize Palestine as an independent state.

The state of affairs in the Middle East is part and parcel of the universal condition of the world.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam, explained it as a condition that needs a new and different kind of leadership.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his critical book, “Message To The Blackman in America,” on page 265 states, “There is no doubt in anyone’s mind today that the condition of the nations is such that needs a ruler who is not involved in the present world of corruption to bring about peace and good will among the people of the earth.

There cannot be peace for the lovers who seek after peace until the peace breakers have been removed from authority and their activities of mischief making, causing bloodshed, grief, sorrow and trouble among peace-loving nations,” he continued.

He reasoned that “there is not a civilized government of people at this writing that is not in trouble and trying to find a solution to the cause. All the nations of the earth are so corrupt with other than good that they cannot come to any agreement on peace with each other, and then carry it into practice.”

He explained the continuing disagreement between the heads of the nations is referred to as “confusion and conflict” in the Bible and Holy Qur’an. The world is at the precipice of the ever-growing threat of universal war.

“The disagreement and corruption today is seen not only in the Christian world of Europe and America but also in the very heart of the Holy Land in Africa and Asia,” wrote the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.