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Netanyahu Rails Against ‘Outrage of Historic Proportions’ if ICC Drops Warrants on Israeli Officials

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Roi Avraham/GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Roi Avraham/GPO

In a televised address in English on Tuesday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to oppose any attempt by the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants against officials in Jerusalem for their alleged conduct during the war in Gaza.

The Prime Minister’s comments come amid reports that the ICC is considering charging him, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Herzi Halevi with violations related to the conditions in the coastal enclave.

“International bodies like the ICC arose in the wake of the Holocaust committed against the Jewish people. They were set up to prevent such horrors, to prevent future genocides, Netanyahu told the audience while describing the potential action as “an outrage of historic proportions.”

Netanyahu appeared to invoke his long-standing criticism of a double standard relating to the Israeli military's fight against terrorism.

“You know the truth. Hamas places its weapons and its terrorists in hospitals, schools, mosques, and throughout civilian areas,” he continued. “They do this in order to win immunity and maximize civilian casualties,” while Israel “is facilitating a surge of humanitarian assistance to Gaza.”

The ICC, of which Israel is not a member, may only adjudicate claims against individuals when a constituent country refuses to prosecute one of their citizens for, or is the victim of, a war of aggression, crimes against humanity, genocide, or general war crimes.

Since the Palestinian Authority has recognized the jurisdiction of the Netherlands-based organization, it is likely that their participation is the basis for any complaints. The regime in Ramallah is not known to have ever punished anyone for decades of violence committed against Israeli civilians or the perpetrators of the October 7 massacre.

If the ICC eventually charges anyone in Israel, the defendants will probably not see any hearings because it is up to the associated states to make arrests for the court. The practical effect of such a measure would be to limit the travel options of any indicted person to countries that did not ratify the Rome Treaty.

Related Story: Speaker Johnson Slams ICC for Reportedly Considering Arrest Warrant for Netanyahu: ‘Disgraceful’

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