'Historical disgrace': Israel slams ICC prosecutor's bid for PM arrest warrant

Foreign minister says Israel will establish a special committee to fight the prosecutor's efforts


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Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz. — Photo: Reuters file
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz. — Photo: Reuters file

Published: Mon 20 May 2024, 6:46 PM

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".

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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".

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