Netanyahu denounces possible arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court against Israeli leaders as an “indelible stain” on justice

Ronen Zvulun – Reuters – Archive

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a conference in Jerusalem on February 18.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned the International Criminal Court of the possibility of issuing arrest warrants for Israeli leaders as a result of its investigation into the war in Gaza, saying doing so would leave an “indelible stain” on the concept of international justice. Justice and law.

Netanyahu’s comments, in a televised speech during the Holocaust Remembrance Day opening ceremony, appeared to be a reference to Israeli media reports that several government officials, including the prime minister, are concerned that such arrest orders may be imminent.

While the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, has declined to comment on any arrest warrants that may result from its investigation into the war in Gaza, rumors have circulated in the Israeli press in recent weeks that the court may target Netanyahu and other key Israeli figures. Officials.

In his speech on Sunday, Netanyahu stressed that the ICC was “established as a result of the Holocaust” and must not attempt to “undermine” Israel’s fundamental right to self-defense.

He said that any arrests would limit Israel’s ability to defend itself, and described it as a “distortion of justice.” date.”

“Even if Israel has to stand alone, we will stand alone, and we will continue to strike our enemies hard until victory. Netanyahu added: “Even if we have to stand alone, we will continue to fight human evil.”

Asked by CNN for comment earlier this week on the possibility of issuing arrest warrants, the ICC said it “does not provide ongoing commentary regarding ongoing investigations, nor respond to speculation in media reports.” Accordingly, we have no further comment to make at this stage.”

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In a post on X in February, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said his office had an “ongoing and active investigation into the situation in the State of Palestine,” adding that his office was “actively investigating any crimes allegedly committed.” Anyone who violates the law will be held accountable.”

Israel is not a member of the International Criminal Court and rejects the court’s jurisdiction. This had not previously prevented the court Investigation Its operations in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Fatou Bensouda, former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, spent five years conducting a “painstaking preliminary examination” in which she participated I finish It expressed its “satisfaction with the commission or commission of war crimes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” But no arrests were made, and Bensouda left her post in 2021.

Since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel that left 1,200 people dead and some 250 hostages taken, both Hamas and Israel have been accused of war crimes. Since Israel launched its devastating military response to that attack, more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

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