Politics, World, Middle East

Israel slams ICC arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Gallant for Gaza war crimes

ICC prosecutor applies for arrest warrants against PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for war crimes in Gaza

Abdelraouf Arnaout  | 20.05.2024 - Update : 20.05.2024
Israel slams ICC arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Gallant for Gaza war crimes Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz


Israeli officials condemned an International Criminal Court (ICC) application for arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan applied for arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Gallant and three Hamas leaders.

Khan said he has reasonable ground to believe that Netanyahu and Gallant bear criminal responsibility for "war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed on Palestinian territories, specifically in the Gaza Strip, from at least Oct. 8.

In a statement, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz termed the ICC application as a "historical disgrace that will be remembered forever."

Katz said his ministry will open a specialized situation room focused on “fighting against the decision intended primarily to shackle Israel’s hands and prevent it from exercising its right to self-defense.”

Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich accused the ICC of antisemitism, saying the application showed "hypocrisy and hatred of Jews like that display by the court in the Hague since Nazi propaganda."

Extremist National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called for ignoring the ICC moves against Netanyahu and Gallant, and called for stepping up the assault against Hamas in Gaza, "until they are completely destroyed."

Opposition leader Yair Lapid described the ICC decision as a "terrible political failure."

Israel continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.

More than 35,500 Palestinians have since been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and over 79,600 others injured since last October following a Hamas attack.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of “genocide” at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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