NewsIsrael braces for potential ICC arrest warrants, sparking fears

Israel braces for potential ICC arrest warrants, sparking fears

Israel braces for potential ICC arrest warrants, sparking fears
Images source: © East News | JAN GRACZYNSKI
6:37 AM EDT, April 30, 2024

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has alerted its embassies worldwide to rumors that the International Criminal Court (ICC) might soon issue arrest warrants for senior political and military leaders, according to the AP news agency on Monday. The reasons behind Israel's concerns remain unclear.

"We expect that the court will prevent the issuance of arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials," said Foreign Minister Israel Katz, arguing such a decision "would boost the morale" of the Palestinian Hamas and other terrorist groups.

Katz highlighted that Israel adheres to "all laws of war." As a result, he has directed Israeli diplomatic missions to brace for a potential increase in anti-Semitism should the International Criminal Court decide to issue arrest warrants.

The AP agency mentioned that amidst escalating international pressure over the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza, Israeli officials are seemingly more worried about the implications of potential ICC decisions. It was noted that the ICC started probing into possible war crimes by Israeli and Palestinian combatants in 2014. Yet, there have been no indications that the court is close to issuing arrest warrants. The ICC has not made any statements regarding these speculations.

ICC Investigation

AP inferred that recent declarations by Israeli officials on enhancing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip might be efforts to fend off potential actions from the ICC.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Friday that Israel "will never accept any ICC attempts to undermine its inherent right to self-defense." On the X platform, he mentioned that the idea of arresting soldiers and officials from "the only democracy in the Middle East and the only Jewish state in the world is outrageous," as the Times of Israel reported.

Although Israel and its major ally, the United States, do not recognize the ICC's jurisdiction, a ruling from the court could subject Israeli officials to arrest risk abroad.

Simultaneously, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), following a request by the Republic of South Africa, is examining whether Israel has perpetrated acts of genocide during the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The ICJ is a UN court that resolves international disputes, issuing binding decisions for the parties involved.

The ICC is a criminal court founded on treaties tasked with prosecuting individuals for the most serious offenses, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression.

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