Thu 23 May 2024 7:32 am - Jerusalem Time

Reuters: Israel's allies are clashing over ICC decisions against Netanyahu

Reuters reported that the request of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant against the Prime Minister of the Israeli occupation, Benjamin Netanyahu, caused a diplomatic impasse for some major member states, centered around how these countries could be “supportive of Israel” and the International Criminal Court over Both".

The agency reported that Karim Khan's move on Monday, the first attempt to prosecute a sitting president backed by the West, has not yet been reviewed by ICC judges who can amend, reject or approve it.

But according to what she continued, “his step in the globally divisive Israeli-Palestinian conflict made some supporters of the International Criminal Court question the extent of their loyalty.”

She added that prosecutors had informed some capitals, including Paris, London and Berlin, of their plans ahead of time, allowing governments to coordinate responses. However, many refused to say what they would do if arrest warrants were issued against Israeli leaders due to the war on Gaza.

A German government official, who requested anonymity, said: “Of course, this will put us in trouble for various reasons,” pointing to Berlin’s firm political commitment to Israel’s security and its support for an independent prosecutor for the International Criminal Court at the same time.

Diplomatic sources said that issuing an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court against Netanyahu would add more unwelcome political pressure on Germany.

A government source confirmed that this could undermine German efforts aimed at strengthening support for the International Criminal Court.

European division

Reuters noted that the divisions in Europe over Khan's decision reflect a deeper international division over the Palestinians' long-term quest for statehood, which came to the fore on Wednesday when several countries said they would recognize a Palestinian state.

All 27 European Union countries are members of the International Criminal Court, and the EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, indicated that these countries are "obligated to implement the court's decisions."

But Khan's move revealed political differences between European powers over the conflict and their efforts to support international justice, according to Reuters.

One diplomatic source said that Britain, a member of the ICC since 2001 and which supported Khan's bid to become prosecutor, sought with its G7 counterparts to find ways to prevent the ICC from issuing "problematic" warrants against the Israelis.

Anthony Dworkin, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the arrest request itself could limit any travel plans by Netanyahu and his security minister, Yoav Gallant.

He added that all 124 member states are required to arrest fugitives wanted by the International Criminal Court.

“It would be particularly devastating if European countries failed to adhere to the arrest warrants, because they have always been among the most active supporters of the court,” he said.


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Reuters: Israel's allies are clashing over ICC decisions against Netanyahu