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The ICC's arrest warrant for Netanyahu is nothing more than hot air

May 21, 2024 at 12:25 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) arrives for a party meeting at the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in Jerusalem on 20 May, 2024 [OREN BEN HAKOON/AFP via Getty Images]

Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, announced yesterday that he is seeking to arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

He announced the same measure for Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh, top Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Al Sinwar and Chief Commander of Hamas Military Wing Mohammad Deif.

According to Khan, the ICC is seeking to issue arrest warrants for the Israeli occupation leaders and Palestinian resistance leaders over alleged charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Khan said that Netanyahu and Gallant are charged with starving Palestinians in Gaza, causing great suffering, carrying out willful killings and murders, directing attacks against a civilian population, carrying out crimes against humanity of extermination and murder, persecution and carrying out other inhumane acts.

Many people around the globe applauded this measure as a victory for justice, noting that it is the right direction but stressed that there is still a long way before justice is achieved.

Regarding Hamas leaders, who represent a legitimate resistance against a brutal occupation, they will not be affected because Sinwar and Deif live in Gaza and the strongest intelligence services have been unable to locate them.

Meanwhile, Haniyeh lives in Qatar which is not a signatory to the ICC.

Haniyeh’s second home is Turkiye, whose President Recip Tayyib Erdogan rejects the European and American classification of Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

READ: Gazans, Hamas see false equivalence in ICC charges

The occupation state of Israel is also not a signatory to the ICC, and lawyers have already said that the court does not have jurisdiction to charge them, arguing that Israel is a democratic state with a reliable judiciary which is able to investigate crimes and criminality on its own.

“The announcement of the prosecutor at the ICC is beyond outrageous, and shows the extent to which the international judicial system is in danger of collapsing,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog wrote on X.

He repeated the unfounded Israeli lies, which almost every single reliable news institution has discredited after investigating them and finding them to be untrue. “We will not forget who started this war, and who raped, butchered, burned, brutalized, and kidnapped innocent citizens and families,” Herzog added.

Unfortunately, the ICC’s Khan parroted the lies. This is the reality facing the alleged justice sought by this untrustworthy court.

Leader of Israeli Opposition Yair Lapid wrote on X: “The ICC arrest warrants are a complete moral failure, we cannot accept the outrageous comparison between Netanyahu and Sinwar, between the leaders of Israel and the leaders of Hamas.”

As expected, other Israeli leaders issued similar remarks, which were later repeated and adopted by foreign officials.

Hardcore Zionist US Senator Lindsey Graham said: “I want the world to know that I, along with my Republican and Democrat colleagues, and members of the Administration engaged the ICC on this issue weeks ago.”

“This outrageous decision is truly a slap in the face to the independent judiciary in Israel, which is renowned for their independence,” he wrote, echoing Israeli officials.

President Joe Biden also said the announcement is “outrageous” and denied that the killing of nearly 50,000 Palestinians and displacement of more than 80 per cent of Gaza’s population after and the complete destruction of their homes is a genocide.

I do not downplay this unprecedented ICC’s measure, but as a Palestinian, I am clearly and loudly declaring it: We lost faith in international institutions. We only trust nations and we believe that they have the power to help.

It will take some time, but it will certainly work better than what the hypocritical world leaders have been working on for nearly a century.

World leaders, through the international institutions, have been enabling the Zionist occupation of Palestine, wasting away our rights and, via these arrest warrants, giving Netanyahu more time to accomplish his biblical dreams.

The ICC’s pursuit of arrest warrants will make headlines for weeks and deviate the world’s attention from Gaza and the massacres being carried out there, leaving no hope that the Palestinian suffering will come to an end and leaving them alone to continue to face this brutal, genocidal occupation.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.