Netanyahu says ICC decisions will not affect Israel’s actions

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that any decisions by the International Criminal Court, which is investigating Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks and Israel's military assault on Gaza, would not affect Israel's actions but would set a dangerous precedent.

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    “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,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Telegram.

    “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,” he said.

    One of Israel’s leading television news outlets, Channel 12, reported last week that Israel was increasingly worried by the possibility that the ICC would issue arrest warrants against Netanyahu and other top officials for alleged violations of international law in Gaza.

    The report said that the Prime Minister’s Office held an “emergency discussion” on the issue. A government spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions on the Channel 12 report or its details.

    Netanyahu thinks he is above international law

    Israel is not a member of the court, based in The Hague, and does not recognise its jurisdiction, but the Palestinian territories were admitted as a member state in 2015.

    ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said in October the court had jurisdiction over any potential war crimes carried out by Hamas fighters in Israel and by Israelis in the Gaza Strip.

    Khan has said his team is actively investigating any crimes allegedly committed in Gaza and that those who are in breach of the law will be held accountable.

    On Oct. 7, Hamas led an attack on Israeli military bases and communities in which 1,200 people were killed and 253 were taken as hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

    Israel has since launched a ground, air and sea offensive that has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza authorities, and has laid much of Gaza to waste. The assault, now in its seventh month, has displaced most of the blockaded Palestinian territory’s 2.3 million people and created a humanitarian crisis.

    With 124 permanent members, the ICC can prosecute individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression.

    The case at the ICC is separate from the genocide case launched against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) also based in The Hague.

    The ICJ, also known as the World Court, is a United Nations court that deals with disputes between states while the ICC is a treaty-based criminal court focusing on individual criminal responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.


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