‘Asked to Report’ – Israel’s Ambassador to Netherlands Summoned Over ICC Spying Allegations

Dutch Foreign Minister Hank Bruins Slot. (Photo: via HankeBruinsSlot TW Page)

The statement also underlined that the Netherlands, as the host state of the ICC, is obliged under an agreement with the court to protect the safety and security of court staff.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry has summoned Israel’s ambassador to the Netherlands to explain allegations that Israeli spy services carried out a secret surveillance and espionage campaign against the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The Israeli ambassador, Modi Ephraim, was on Wednesday “asked to report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with the allegations in the articles in The Guardian and +972 Magazine,” the ministry said in a statement, according to the Anadolu news agency.

“The government regards such activities as a form of undesirable foreign interference and considers it totally undesirable,” the statement reportedly said, noting that there is ongoing contact with the ICC on “various security concerns.”

The ministry did not elaborate on the details of such discussions for security reasons.

A joint investigation by the Guardian, +972 Magazine, and Local Call revealed in May that for nearly a decade Israel “had been surveilling senior International Criminal Court officials and Palestinian human rights workers as part of a secret operation to thwart the ICC’s probe into alleged war crimes.”

‘Alleged Israeli Espionage Against ICC’ – Dutch Lawmakers Demand Probe

The investigation found that the covert operation, according to sources, “mobilized the highest branches of Israel’s government, the intelligence community, and both the civilian and military legal systems in order to derail the probe.”

The statement also underlined that the Netherlands, as the host state of the ICC, is obliged under an agreement with the court to protect the safety and security of court staff and must ensure it is “free from interference of any kind.”

Aimed to Disrupt

In early June, Dutch lawmakers called for a probe into allegations of espionage and intimidation by Israel to obstruct ICC investigations into Israeli officials.

A written question submitted by House of Representatives member Kati Piri urged ministers to investigate the alleged activities. Piri is a member of the Green Left-Labor Party alliance led by former European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans.

The efforts are reportedly aimed at disrupting investigations into war crimes committed in Palestinian territories.

On May 20, ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three Palestinian officials, citing reasonable grounds to believe they bear criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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Netanyahu’s Fears

Israeli media reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feared that the ICC would issue arrest warrants for him and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant before his visit to Washington on July 24.

While the United States is not a member of the ICC, hosting Netanyahu despite an international arrest warrant could attract criticism.

The ICC, established in 2002, is an independent international body not affiliated with the United Nations or any other international institution, and its decisions are binding.

‘Looming Possibility’ – Netanyahu Expects ICC Arrest Warrants soon

Ongoing 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, 37,718 Palestinians have been killed, and 86,337 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

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’.

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

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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.

(Anadolu, PC)

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