The announcement that the ICC's chief prosecutor wants to issue an arrest warrant against leading men from both Israel and Hamas has sparked reactions on Swedish opinion pages over the past week. Pictured (left): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pictured (right): Hamas supreme leader Yahya Sinwar. Source: Flickr.

Current debate

Week 21: Arrest warrants against Hamas and Israel's leaders are both welcomed and criticized

Last week, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, announced that he wants to issue a arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country's defense minister, as well as three senior Hamas leaders. The message has been both welcomed and criticized on Swedish debate and editorial pages.  

The chief prosecutor believes there is one "reasonable reason to believe" that the leaders are responsible for violations of human rights. A panel of judges will make the final decision on whether to arrest the ringleaders, but the plea has nonetheless been controversial. Some debaters believe, for example, that it is wrong to equate Israel with Hamas.  

- Of course, Israel - a democracy with flaws - is not to be equated with the terrorist group Hamas. However, both parties can commit war crimes, writes Dagens Nyheter's editorial staff 

- An upcoming arrest warrant against the top leaders of the Jewish state takes on a strong symbolic meaning. It is a hard blow to Israel that the country's leader ends up in the same category as the Russian dictator and an Islamist terrorist group, writes Dagens Nyheters foreign affairs commentator Michael Winiarski. 

Svenska Dagbladet's lead writer Tove Lifvendahl believes that it is problematic that the chief prosecutor demands the arrest of both Hamas and Israel's political leaders.  

- The important task of trying the existence of war crimes is now at risk of being reduced, and the relevance of the ICC is endangered, she writes. 

However, editorial writer Zina Al-Dewany has a different opinion.  

- When Palestinian civilians who have been shot in the head and dead children are found in mass graves with bodies that have been killed tied behind their backs, the issue of arrest warrants should not be controversial, she writes in Aftonbladet Ledare 

Annie Croona, lead writer at Dagens ETC, writes that there is increased pressure on Foreign Minister Tobias Billström (M) to condemn Israel's actions in connection with the arrest warrant.  

- All countries that have been silent must raise their voices now. Anyone who has done too little must start doing more. Actually, it is already too late, she writes in one Leader in Dagens ETC.  

ICC chief prosecutor calls for arrest of Israel and Hamas leaders

The arrest warrant is a heavy blow to Israel  

Michael Winiarski, foreign commentator, Dagens Nyheter  

The arrest warrant could be the beginning of the end for Israel's genocide  

Annie Croona, editorial writer, Dagens ETC 

Billström and Biden stand with their pants down  

Zina Al-Dewany, editorial writer, Aftonbladet  

No one has the right to violate the laws of war 

The editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter   

It is not possible to equate Israel and Hamas 

Tove Lifvendahl, editorial writer, Svenska Dagbladet  

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