THE UK is "complicit" in the deaths of thousands in Gaza, Stephen Flynn has warned after the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it is seeking an arrest warrant for the Israeli prime minister.

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, said on Monday that he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu

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

READ MORE: ICC: What does the arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu mean?

Speaking of the Israeli actions, Khan said in a statement that “the effects of the use of starvation as a method of warfare, together with other attacks and collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza are acute, visible and widely known.”

He added: “They include malnutrition, dehydration, profound suffering and an increasing number of deaths among the Palestinian population, including babies, other children, and women.”

The UK Government has refused to stop arms exports to Israel during the conflict, even when the US decided to pause a shipment of weapons due to concerns over an offensive on the city of Rafah. Labour argued there must be legal advice providing evidence of international war crimes before they would consider stopping sales themselves.

Responding to Monday's news, SNP Westminster leader Flynn described it as a "deeply serious development" demonstrating the horrors committed by Hamas and the Israeli government.

“Both the UK Government and the Labour Party must stand by international law and, whilst this application for an arrest warrant is determined, confirm that they will both fully support the final determination that is made by the court," he said.

“In the meantime, the supply of arms to Israel must be halted and an immediate ceasefire demanded. Westminster’s equivocation has left it complicit in the deaths of thousands of civilians and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people must now stop."

Earlier this years, a former British ambassador warned that UK ministers could be complicit in the potential genocide of Palestinians if Britain keeps arming Israel.

After the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to prevent genocide in Gaza, Craig Murray told The National that the UK has “got to stop military cooperation with Israel while this alleged genocide continues”.

Former first minister Humza Yousaf also reacted to the news on Twitter/X, saying: "A hugely significant development from @IntlCrimCourt. 

The National:

"Those responsible for war crimes must be held to account. No one is above the law, regardless of whether they are state or non-state actors. 

"The unacceptable threats against the Court must stop and be universally condemned."

What happens now?

The ICC prosecutor must request the warrants from a pre-trial panel of three judges, who take two months on average 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.

READ MORE: Steph Paton: SNP’s ‘progressive’ ruse is finally being exposed

Benny Gantz, a former military chief and member of Israel’s war cabinet with Netanyahu and Gallant, harshly criticised Khan’s announcement, saying Israel fights with “one of the strictest” moral codes and has a robust judiciary capable of investigating itself.

He said: “The State of Israel is waging one of the just wars fought in modern history following a reprehensible massacre perpetrated by terrorist Hamas on October 7.

“The prosecutor’s position to apply for arrest warrants is in itself a crime of historic proportion to be remembered for generations."