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Why does the ICC keep failing Palestine? (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

According to The Times of Israel, Tel Aviv fears “the arrest warrants would be sought on the basis of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza”.

Israeli officials convened for an “emergency discussion” on Tuesday to address the potential issuance of arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli political and military leaders for alleged violations of international law in Gaza, Israeli media reported.

Citing a report by Israeli Channel 12, The Times of Israel said that three ministers and several government legal experts convened for the “emergency discussion” at the Prime Minister’s Office to address the looming threat of such arrest warrants. 

This urgent meeting was reportedly prompted by intelligence received in Israel and indicating that the warrants could be imminent.

According to reports, Netanyahu also raised this concern during his recent meetings with Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron and Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

During the Tuesday discussion, which included Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, it was reportedly decided that Israel would seek assistance from influential international diplomatic circles to counteract the potential issuance of arrest warrants.

According to The Times of Israel, Tel Aviv fears “the arrest warrants would be sought on the basis of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with countries that claim Israel is breaching international law and the 4th Geneva Convention said to be leading the effort.”

‘Too Slow’

UN officials and international law experts have repeatedly criticized the ICC for its slow handling of prosecuting those responsible for Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. 

Last January, Dr. Triestino Mariniello, a member of the legal team representing Gaza victims before the ICC, has also criticized Khan for applying “double standards” when it comes to war crimes committed by Israel.

“One finds it difficult to understand why the Prosecutor remains silent in relation to the mass killing of Palestinians and the extensive destruction of civilian homes,” Mariniello, Professor of Law at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, wrote in an article on the Opinio Juris website.

Mariniello said that “while it took the Prosecutor only one year to identify concrete cases in the situation in Ukraine, he has not requested any warrants of arrest or summons in relation to Palestine and Israel in the two years and half since he was sworn in on 16 June 2021,” adding that Khan had inherited “an opened investigation into the situation in Palestine from his predecessor.”

“A few things suggest that the Palestine situation has not been a priority for Khan before October 2023. It seems that no ICC investigator has ever visited Israel or the Palestinian territory,” he argued.

South Africa Refers Israel to ICC

In November 2023, South Africa, along with a few other countries, referred Israel to the ICC for an investigation into alleged war crimes committed during its assault on the Gaza Strip. 

“We have put through a referral because we believe that war crimes are being committed there,” the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said.

Ramaphosa stressed that there is “a need for the whole world to rise and call upon the Israeli government to cease fire, to stop what is happening, and we want the ICC to investigate, and of course, legal measures then need to be taken at a global level.”

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,970 Palestinians have been killed, and 76,770 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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