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Report: 124 countries will be poised to arrest Netanyahu if ICC issues arrest warrant

April 30, 2024 at 10:28 am

In this photo illustration, the International Criminal Court (ICC) logo is seen on a smartphone screen on 16 February 2024 [Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The Hebrew Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said yesterday that the issuance of arrest warrants against top Israeli officials by the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be a very strong blow to the state of Israel.

“The 124 countries recognised by the Hague Court will be obligated to arrest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Galant, Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, and any person against whom an arrest warrant is issued whenever he/she arrives on their territory,” the paper explained, adding that this means that the Israeli leadership will not be able to leave the country, except perhaps to visit dictatorship countries or countries that pledge in writing in advance not to arrest that senior Israeli official.

It stressed that the matter is personal and will remain pending even if that politician resigns from politics.

According to the paper, the arrest warrants would also be a fatal blow to Netanyahu, who considers himself a statesman who loves to travel around the world, as this arrest warrant will keep him in Israel until further notice.

Israel, it added, will not cooperate with the ICC if arrest warrants are issued, and will not recognise any international court that seeks to judge it, noting that Israel may act secretly to persuade the ICC top prosecutor to cancel the arrest warrant requests.

While ICC top prosecutor, Karim Khan, is the one who requests arrest warrants be issued, the orders are given by the three judges of the pre-trial panel that discusses the case, represented by the president of the panel, Judge Lulia Motoc from Romania, and headed by Judge Flores Liera from Mexico and Reine Alapini from Benin.

After Khan submits such a request, he must provide evidence and the court must make a reasoned decision, the paper said, pointing out that such a step does not take place overnight, and according to estimates, it may take a month.

In recent days, reports have been circulating about the possibility of the ICC issuing arrest warrants against Netanyahu and members of his war cabinet in respect to Israel’s crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip.

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