National Security Council said leading push to thwart ICC arrest warrants

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Israel is making a concerted effort to head off plans by the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials, an Israeli government source confirms to The Times of Israel.

The National Security Council is leading the campaign, according to the source.

The Foreign Ministry is also involved. “We are operating where we can,” says an Israeli diplomat.

A major focus of the ICC allegations will be that Israel “deliberately starved Palestinians in Gaza,” according to the first source.

IDF International Spokesman Nadav Shoshani offered a rare briefing on Shabbat for foreign reporters on Israel’s support for the temporary humanitarian pier off Gaza, an indication that the country is doing what it can to blunt the ICC campaign.

In the news site Walla over the weekend, analyst Ben Caspit wrote that Netanyahu is “under unusual stress” over the prospect of an arrest warrant against him and other Israelis by the UN tribunal in The Hague. Netanyahu is leading a “nonstop push over the telephone” to prevent an arrest warrant, focused especially on the administration of US President Joe Biden, Caspit wrote.

Haaretz analyst Amos Harel wrote that the Israeli government is working under the assumption that the ICC’s prosecutor, Karim Khan, may this week issue warrants for the arrest of Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi.

Most Popular