Watch: Qatar officials respond to ICC arrest warrant for Hamas leader living in Doha

Watch as Qatar’s foreign minister spokesperson, Majed Al-Ansari, was expected to comment on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants for Hamas leaders, including its political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh who lives in Doha, on Tuesday, 21 May.

The leader faces the possibility of legal action after the ICC prosecutor’s office said on Monday, 20 May, it had requested arrest warrants for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defence minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders - including Mr Haniyeh - for alleged war crimes in the conflict that began after the October 7 Hamas attack.

Karim Khan KC said there were reasonable grounds to believe that both Mr Netanyahu and Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, bore criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the wake of October 7.

Charges against Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gallant include “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare … intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population … wilfully causing great suffering … persecution as a crime against humanity … [and] extermination and/or murder.”

Charges against Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, military chief Mohammed al-Masri, and Mr Haniyeh all relate to Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israeli soil and the alleged mistreatment of hostages taken into Gaza after the assault.

Mr Khan said the crimes of the three leaders include “extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape and sexual assault in detention”.

A senior Hamas official told Reuters after the statement was made that it “equates the victim with the executioner”.

Mr Netanyahu responded angrily to the ICC prosecutor’s statement, saying Israelis were being painted as “mass murderers” and accusing Mr Khan of “callously pouring gasoline on the fires of antisemitism that are raging across the world”.