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Israel calls ICC prosecutor’s bid for PM arrest warrant a ‘historical disgrace’

Netanyahu rival says Israel lost deterrence against Iran
Source: Video Screenshot

Israel on Monday slammed as a “historical disgrace” an application by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for an arrest warrant for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The prosecutor, Karim Khan, applied for arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant as well as top Hamas leaders on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that Khan “in the same breath mentions the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence of the State of Israel alongside the abominable Nazi monsters of Hamas — a historical disgrace that will be remembered forever”.

The prosecutor said he was seeking warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant for crimes including “wilful killing”, “extermination and/or murder” and “starvation”.

Katz denounced the move as a “scandalous decision” that amounted to “a frontal attack… on the victims of October 7” when Hamas launched their attack on Israel, sparking the Gaza war.

The minister added that Israel would establish a special committee to fight the ICC prosecutor’s efforts to secure a warrant, and also embark on a diplomatic push against it.

Katz said he planned to “speak with foreign ministers in leading countries of the world so that they oppose the prosecutor’s decision and announce that, even if orders are issued, they do not intend to enforce them on the leaders of the State of Israel”.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog criticised Khan’s bid as an example of how the “international judicial system is in danger of collapsing”.

“This one-sided move represents a unilateral political step that emboldens terrorists around the world,” he said in a statement.

“Any attempt to draw parallels between these atrocious terrorists and a democratically elected government of Israel… is outrageous and cannot be accepted by anyone.”

Israel’s war cabinet minister Benny Gantz meanwhile said the ICC prosecutor’s bid was a “historical crime”.

“Placing the leaders of a country that went into a battle to protect its citizens in the same line with bloodthirsty terrorists is moral blindness,” Gantz said on X.

On Saturday, Gantz had criticised Netanyahu for his handling of the war in Gaza, threatening to resign from the war cabinet unless the premier approved a post-war plan for the Palestinian territory.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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