Israel, US said working to prevent ICC arrest warrant against Netanyahu

According to reports in several Israeli media, the United States is part of a last-ditch diplomatic effort to prevent the International Criminal Court from issuing arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.

In the news site Walla, analyst Ben Caspit writes 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, which would be a major deterioration in Israel’s international status. 

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 writes.

Haaretz analyst Amos Harel writes 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.

The US, which, like Israel, is not among the 124 countries that signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, is already engaged in the effort to block the arrest warrants, according to Harel.

Netanyahu’s latest public statement about the war said forthcoming decisions by the ICC could set a “dangerous precedent.”

“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.

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