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Netanyahu denounces possible ICC orders against Israeli leaders as an ‘indelible stain’ on justice

Ronen Zvulun/Reuters/File

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


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the International Criminal Court on Sunday about the possible issuance of arrest warrants against Israeli leaders and commanders as a result of its investigation into the war in Gaza. He said this would leave an “indelible stain” on the concept of international justice and law.

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

While the ICC, based in The Hague, has declined to comment on any arrest warrants that might emerge from its investigation into the Gaza war, rumors have circulated in the Israeli press in recent weeks that the court could focus on Netanyahu and other key Israeli leaders. civil servants.

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

He argued that any arrests would limit Israel’s ability to defend itself, calling it a “perversion of justice.” history.”

“Even if Israel is forced to stand alone, we will stand alone, and we will continue to vigorously attack our enemies until victory. Even if we have to stand alone, we will continue to fight human evil,” Netanyahu added.

When asked by CNN earlier this week for comment on the possibility of arrest warrants being issued, the ICC said it “does not provide ongoing commentary regarding ongoing investigations or respond to speculation in media reports.” Therefore, we have no further comment at this stage.”

In a post on Those who break the law will be held accountable.”

Israel is not a member of the ICC and rejects the court’s jurisdiction. This has previously not stopped the court from investigating her actions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Fatou Bensouda, a former ICC prosecutor, conducted a five-year “meticulous preliminary investigation” in which she concluded that she was “satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in the Gaza Strip.” But no arrests were made and Bensouda left office in 2021.

Since the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7, which killed 1,200 people and took some 250 hostage, 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 in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry.