Report: Israel worried ICC may issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu, officials over Gaza war crimes allegations

are growing concerned that the International Criminal Court could soon issue arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials over charges related to the war in Gaza, reports say. The court may accuse the senior government figures of pursuing an to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the New York Times is reporting, citing Israeli and foreign officials. The newspaper reports that any warrants issued by the ICC would “probably be seen in much of the world as a humbling moral rebuke” and cited an official as saying that the possibility of them has factored into Israeli decision-making in recent weeks. Such warrants could pose travel obstacles for the Israeli officials and they may be issued against Hamas leaders as well, according to the New York Times. The developments come after Israel Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Sunday that “We expect the court to refrain from issuing arrest warrants against senior Israeli political and security officials,” Reuters reports. “We will not bow our heads or be deterred and will continue to fight,” Katz reportedly added, warning Israeli embassies to step up security over the risk of a “wave of severe antisemitism.” On Friday, wrote on X that “While the ICC will not affect Israel’s actions, it would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the soldiers and officials of all democracies fighting savage terrorism and wanton aggression.” “Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense,” he added. “The threat to seize the soldiers and officials of the Middle East’s only democracy and the world’s only Jewish state is outrageous. We will not bow to it.” ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said in October that the court has jurisdiction over potential war crimes that are committed in the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters. The news agency reports Israel is not a member of the court and does not recognize its jurisdiction, but the Palestinian territories were admitted with member status in 2015. The ICC says on its website that it “investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.”