Skip to main content

Benny Gantz (L) and Benjamin Netayahu. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly held telephone conversations with his counterparts in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Austria, urging them to exert political pressure on the court in favor of Israel.

The Israeli National Security Council (NSC) has reportedly held a secret session to discuss the possibility that international arrest warrants could be issued against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Galant and Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi “in the coming days.”

“Based on the information and indicators available to senior officials in Israel, there is a possibility that the International Criminal Court in The Hague will issue arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Gallant and Halevi,” the Israeli Channel 13 reported, according to the Middle East Monitor (MEMO).

Israel’s National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi chaired the meeting, in which arrest warrants for other officials were also discussed, the report said.

According to Channel 13, MEMO said, Israeli officials predict that “the potential arrest warrants, if issued, are expected to target policy makers at the military and political levels (referring to high-ranking officials), and not junior officers.”

MEMO further reported that Channel 13 said Israel had already begun “immediate measures” that it decided to take in an attempt to prevent the issuance of arrest warrants.

Diplomatic Campaign

The measures included launching a diplomatic pressure campaign and activating Israel’s international tools to prevent the International Criminal Court (ICC) from issuing arrest warrants.

The NSC-approved measures included phone calls between Netanyahu and his international counterparts, putting pressure on the US administration and involving the Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Michael Herzog, in these efforts.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu held telephone conversations with his counterparts in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Austria, urging them to exert political pressure on the court in favor of Israel.

The Minister of Strategic Affairs, Ron Dermer, and the Israeli ambassador to Washington also held talks with officials in President Joe Biden’s administration and members of Congress. In addition to this, the channel noted that there has been “enormous pressure on the American administration to intervene on behalf of Israel” in this issue.

High-ranking Israeli officials said that if implemented, this “brings to mind the measures taken against Russia and its President (Vladimir) Putin.”

MEMO said the report stated that the Israeli Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs, or the State Security Cabinet, which is scheduled to meet on Thursday will discuss this issue, including additional measures that could be taken in an attempt to block the possible action.

ICC Criticism

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.

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.

In December, about 100 Chilean lawyers filed a complaint before the ICC againstNetanyahu accusing him of committing crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes in Gaza

Over 34,000 Killed

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, 34,305 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,293 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’.


Leave a Reply