Netanyahu reportedly ‘stressed’ over ICC arrest threat, seeks US support

There is suspicion that ICC’s prosecutor may issue warrants to arrest Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi this week.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Israeli Prime Minister is reportedly “abnormally stressed” and “frightened” over the possibility of being arrested by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague and is seeking US diplomatic support, as reported by Ben Caspi of Maariv.

Netanyahu has been engaged in non-stop phone calls over the past few days, particularly with US President Joe Biden to prevent an ICC arrest of him and other Israeli officials for their role in the war between Israel and Gaza.

Among other reasons, an ICC arrest is dreaded because it would signal a major deterioration in Israel’s global standing.

The reason for the urgency is the suspicion that ICC’s prosecutor, Karim Khan may issue warrants for the arrest of Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi this week.

Although Netanyahu said such an arrest would create a “dangerous precedent” he insisted that it would not influence his policy for conducting the war.

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“We will never stop defending ourselves. Whereas decisions of the court in the Hague will not affect Israel’s actions, they would be a dangerous precedent threatening the soldiers and officials of any democracy fighting criminal terrorism and aggression,” he said on Friday.

Israel is not a member of the ICC and doesn’t recognize its jurisdiction, although the Palestinian territories were accepted as a member state in 2015.

In October 2023, Karim Khan warned that the ICC had jurisdiction to try war crimes allegedly committed by Israel or Hamas during the war.

Khan said he is actively investigating alleged war crimes in Gaza.

The ICC currently has 124 permanent members and can prosecute individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression.

The current Gaza case in the ICC is separate from the genocide charges in the ICJ, or the International Court of Justice.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told MSNBC, “I believe that the ICC needs to make a decision as to whether in terms of war crimes, are they being committed. They must make the decision, same as they did with the Russian president.”