ICC Threatens Action Over 'Intimidation' Tactics As Netanyahu Arrest Warrant Looms

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, May 03, 2024 - 01:50 PM

The government of Israel is now essentially in a full diplomatic war with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the possible impending arrest warrants which could be issued anytime for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his top officials, including the defense chief. 

The back-and-forth rhetoric has grown so heated that the Hague-based ICC has issued a new Friday statement warning against 'intimidation' of the court. While not naming Israel or any specific officials or actions, the statement warns that legal action could be take against those "threatening to retaliate" or else trying to "impede or intimidate" its officials and the world court's work.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Asad Ahmad Khan: ICC-CPI

The ICC prosecutor’s office said that any threats against the court or its personnel could "constitute an offence against the administration of justice under Art 70 of the Rome Statute."

"The office insists that all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials cease immediately," the statement posted to X continued. It said it rejects any scenario where the court's "independence and impartiality are undermined."

Axios reported Monday that the Israeli government is growing "increasingly concerned" over the possible action, while Walla news has written that Netanyahu is "under unusual stress" over what will be a largely symbolic, albeit still deeply embarrassing reputational black eye for his government at a moment he's facing immense domestic pressure at home to bring back the hostages.

Israel has been warning that an ICC warrant could blow up a hostage deal being mediated by Egypt and Qatar. Additionally Netanyahu has been issuing personal appeals condemning the ICC case which focused on alleged human rights violations, war crimes, and alleged genocide on the part of IDF troops in Gaza.

This unusual ICC response follows on the heels of Netanyahu days ago saying he "expects the leaders of the free world to stand firmly against" any ICC arrest warrants for Israeli government officials.

"We expect them to use all the means at their disposal to stop this dangerous move," Netanyahu said. It's also been widely reported that he personally asked President Biden to pressure the ICC to halt its proceedings related to Israeli war crimes.

Geopolitical analyst Lisa Daftari has noted that "If the ICC eventually charges anyone in Israel, the defendants will probably not see any hearings because it is up to the associated states to make arrests for the court."

However, Daftari has pointed out that "The practical effect of such a measure would be to limit the travel options of any indicted person to countries that did not ratify the Rome Treaty." Russia's Putin currently faces this dilemma, and it will be a new day when Netanyahu faces the same restrictions. This is what the Israeli and US governments are currently lobbying against.