Israel Faces Potential ICC Arrest Warrants for Top Officials

( – Arrest warrants could be issued for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for charges related to the Israel and Hamas war.

Concern is growing among Israeli officials that the court, which can charge individuals with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, might issue warrants alleging Israel has used an excessively harsh military response to the October 7th attack by Hamas and prevented humanitarian aid from being delivered to the people living in the Gaza Strip. The warrants, which could also be issued against Hamas leaders, could pose an obstacle to travel for the Israeli officials.

On April 28th, Israel Foreign Minister Israel Katz said they would not “be deterred and will continue to fight,” noting they remain uncertain if the court will issue arrest warrants. He called for security to be increased at Israeli embassies due to a “wave of severe antisemitism.”

However, on X (formerly Twitter) on April 28th, the Israeli prime minister wrote that the court’s decision “will not affect Israel’s actions.” He added that Israel will “never accept” an attempt by the court to “undermine its inherent right of self-defense.”

In October, ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said the court has jurisdiction over any potential war crimes Israel committed in Gaza and by Hamas fighters in Israel. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, the ICC, according to Khan, is investigating any alleged crimes, and the court will hold those in breach of the law accountable.

On April 29th, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that the ICC’s investigation is being conducted “without any contact or interference by the U.S.” Also on April 29th, a White House spokesperson noted that the U.S. is not a member of the court, adding, “we do not support its investigation.”

While Palestinian territories were admitted with member status to the ICC in 2015, Israel is not a member, nor does it recognize its jurisdiction.

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