Israel fears Benjamin Netanyahu will face ARREST over Gaza war with ‘warrant being prepared by international court’

ISRAELI officials fear prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could face arrest over alleged war crimes in Gaza.

They believe the International Criminal Court (ICC) is preparing to issue a warrant in days which Netanyahu says will set a “dangerous precedent”.

RexThe destroyed Gaza Strip after more than six months of war between Israel and Hamas[/caption]

Injured Palestinian children in a Gaza hospital

AFPIsraeli officials fear a warrant could be issued over excessive force in Gaza and lack of aid to innocents civilians[/caption]

AFPIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could face an arrest warrant from the ICC[/caption]

Netanyahu, defence minister Yoav Gallant and army chief Herzi Halevi are among the senior ministers at risk of being named in a warrant.

The Israeli leader said on Friday that his country’s actions in the war would not be affected by any ruling to come out of the court.

He raged: “Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the International Criminal Court in the Hague to undermine its basic right to defend itself.

“While decisions made by the court in the Hague will not affect Israel’s actions, they will set a dangerous precedent that threatens soldiers and public figures.”

Unnamed Israeli officials believe the warrants, issued by Karim Khan – the ICC prosecutor – will come this week, the New York Times reports.

They think it will rest on accusations of excessive brutality in response to the October 7 massacre, and failure to deliver humanitarian aid.

While decisions made by the court in the Hague will not affect Israel’s actions, they will set a dangerous precedent that threatens soldiers and public figures

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli political commentator Ben Caspit said the PM is “under unusual stress” over the possibility of such an unprecedented move.

A United Nations (UN) tribunal held in The Hague is expected to issue the warrants, which the US is reportedly attempting to block.

They also believe it could issue warrants for the leaders of Hamas, who slaughtered 1,200 Israelis on October 7.

It comes after a plea in February by the Israeli Hostage and Missing Families Forum that the ICC prosecute Hamas.

What would it mean for Israel?

The arrest warrant could be based on the grounds of Israel’s failure to deliver enough humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

It could see Netanyahu and his ministers accused of pursuing an excessively harsh response in the Strip following the October massacre.

The PM is reportedly pursuing a “nonstop push over the telephone” to stop the arrest warrant, appealing to ally Joe Biden for help.

If the warrants are issued, every one of the 123 member states in the ICC is duty bound to hand over those individuals if they enter their territory.

It could also lead to an arms embargo or economic sanctions against Israel.

The last time the ICC issued a similar warrant was one against Russian despot Vladimir Putin last year, for the illegal abduction of Ukrainian children.

According to Israeli outlet Haaretz, some legal experts believe the attorney general and army lawyers are at fault for not doing more to prevent Israel from violating International law.

Professor Eliav Lieblich from Tel Aviv university said Israeli politicians have not helped the cause.

Israel Katz, now the country’s foreign minister, previously said Gaza’s water supply should be turned off because “that’s what murderers of children deserve”.

And diaspora affairs minister Amichai Chikli said dropping a nuclear bomb on the Strip was “an option” because Israel “must find ways to cause suffering in Gaza.”

Lieblich also said footage online of Israeli soldiers behaving inappropriately does nothing to help the international response to the war in Gaza.

He said: “Almost every day, videos are surfacing online where soldiers are documenting improper conduct.

“This leads to distrust in officials’ statements about the IDF acting in accordance with the laws of combat.”

Israel is not a member of the ICC.

An Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip in October 2023

ReutersAn Israeli soldier walks near tanks parked near the southern Gaza border[/caption]

Horrors inside Gaza

Recent events in Gaza have increased international criticism over Israel’s approach to destroying the terror group Hamas.

Last week the UN chief said he was “horrified” by reports from Gaza of mass graves near the Nasser and al Shifa hospitals.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for UN human rights commissioner Volker Turk, said some of the dead had their hands tied and were buried “stripped of their clothes”.

And on Friday news of the baby Palestinian girl who was saved from her dead mother’s womb after an Israeli strike surfaced.

She died on Thursday, days after her mum, dad and four-year-old sister.

The killing of seven innocent international aid workers earlier in April also sparked international outrage.

And the targeting of hospitals, schools and refugee camps where Israel claims Hamas are hiding have invited criticism.

In January, shocking video surfaced of a Palestinian man walking through Gaza holding a white flag before he is shot and killed.

Reports in Associated Press claimed he was shot by soldiers in an Israeli tank.

On October 12 Israel turned off the water and electricity in Gaza and blocked any fuel from entering the Strip.

The energy minister Israel Katz wrote online at the time that no “electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter” until the hostages were let go.

UN experts warned at the time that Israel’s actions of “collective punishment” constituted a war crime.

Figures from the UN have said that more children, over 12,000, have been killed in just over six months of this war than in four years of global conflict.

In total the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claims over 34,000 people have been killed so far.

Secretary general Antonio Guterres said in February that he is “appalled by the tragic human toll of the conflict in Gaza”.

GettyA distraught Palestinian family shelters in hospital after the IDF attacks their home in Rafah[/caption]

The destroyed car where aid workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike

Investigations into Israeli army

Israeli soldiers have also been documented sharing warped footage on social media of their actions inside Palestine.

Just weeks ago CNN shared a compilation of IDF soldiers clips on TikTok and Instagram showing them blowing up parts of Gaza and cheering.

One of the videos showed a soldier filming a how-to video on blowing up a mosque.

Some of them, filmed in front of the backdrop of a blitzed Gaza, are satirical comedy clips.

Others are presented as wedding invitations.

More analysis by the New York Times showed the IDF social media clips of soldiers laughing and cheering as they obliterate the Strip.

One caption read: “I stopped counting how many neighborhoods I’ve erased.”

The US is also considering sanctioning a particular Israeli battalion – the Netzah Yehuda group.

An investigation concluded it had committed gross human rights violations against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, NBC reported.

Dating back to before October 7, the unit has been implicated in more than a few cases of alleged abuse – even filmed on their phones.

Soldiers from the unit have been prosecuted for human rights violations, accused of unlawful killings, electrocution, torture and sexual assault.

After news of the potential cut to funding last week, Yoav Galant said “no one in the world can teach us about morals and values”.

The Israeli army have come under serious international scrutiny over six months of war

Israelis protesting for their government to fight for the hostages still in Gaza and secure a deal

ReutersIsraeli defence minister Yoav Gallant is also thought to be at risk of being named in the warrant[/caption]

AFPIsraeli army General Herzi Halevi – who officials also fear could be named[/caption]

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