Alarm in Israel at reports of possible ICC legal action over Gaza

Alarm in Israel at reports of possible ICC legal action over Gaza

BBC News reports:

Israeli officials are increasingly concerned that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is planning to seek arrest warrants for their military and political leaders on suspicion of war crimes.

Reports suggest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be among them.

The ICC, based in The Hague, has been investigating Israel’s actions in the occupied territories for the past three years – and more recently the actions of Hamas as well. It has the power to charge and try individuals for the most serious crimes under international law.

It has previously issued arrest warrants for leaders including Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, and Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

Mr Netanyahu has called the prospect of senior Israel figures joining the wanted list “an outrage of historic proportions”, accusing the ICC of attempting to paralyse Israel’s ability to defend itself.

But the fact that he’s chosen to make such strident public comments suggests that, behind the scenes, such a scenario is being actively discussed.

While the ICC has not confirmed the Israeli claims, when Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan KC visited Israel and the occupied West Bank last December his message was a clear one.

The British barrister toured the sites of Hamas’ attacks in Israeli villages close to the Gaza fence, which Hamas-led gunmen burst through on 7 October.

He also met political leaders, and travelled to Ramallah to speak to the families of Palestinian victims about their experiences in Gaza and the West Bank. He condemned the violence suffered by civilians on both sides, and promised to investigate. [Continue reading…]

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