Stop Threatening Us – ICC Prosecutor Calls for End to Intimidation of Staff, Officials

Will the ICC issue arrest warrants for Israeli officials? (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The statement followed Israeli and American criticism of the ICC’s investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip.

The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor’s office called on Friday for an end to the “intimidation of its staff”, saying such threats could constitute an offense against the world’s permanent war crimes court.

In the statement posted on social media platform X, the ICC prosecutor’s office said all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials must cease immediately. 

“The Office of the Prosecutor is aware that there is significant public interest in its investigations,” the statement read, adding that “the Office seeks to engage constructively with all stakeholders whenever such dialogue is consistent with its mandate under the Rome Statute to act independently and impartially”.

The statement indicated that the Court and the Court personnel received threats.

“The independence and impartiality are undermined, however, when individuals threaten to retaliate against the Court or against Court personnel should the office, in fulfillment of its mandate, make decisions about investigations or cases falling within its jurisdiction,” the statement added.

It added that the Rome Statute, which outlines the ICC’s structure and areas of jurisdiction, prohibits these actions.

“Such threats, even when not acted upon, may also constitute an offense against the administration of justice under Art. 40 of the Rome Statute,” it said, adding:

“The Office insists that all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials cease immediately”.

US-ICC Meeting

The statement followed Israeli and American criticism of the ICC’s investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the American news website Axios reported on Friday that a group of bipartisan US senators held a virtual meeting on Wednesday with senior officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to express concerns about potential arrest warrants for Israeli leaders related to the war on Gaza.

According to Axios, the growing worry among Israeli officials is that the ICC might issue arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi.

The ICC, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, has been conducting an investigation since 2021 into possible war crimes in Palestine dating back to the 2014 war. This investigation has expanded to cover recent events, including Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, starting on October 7.

US Senators Meet ICC Officials over Israel’s Arrest Warrants – Report

On Wednesday, Axios reported that the Israeli government informed the Biden administration that if arrest warrants are issued, Israel may take “retaliatory steps against the Palestinian Authority, that could lead to its collapse”.

Axios quoted two Israeli officials as saying that “over the last few weeks, Israel has told the US that it has information suggesting Palestinian Authority officials are pressing the ICC prosecutor to issue arrest warrants against Israeli leaders”.

A senior official reportedly stressed that “the threat of ICC arrest warrants is real and stressed if such a scenario happens the Israeli cabinet would likely make an official decision to punish the Palestinian Authority”.

Axios reported that the White House, Netanyahu’s office and the Palestinian Authority declined to comment.

‘We Will Retaliate’ – Israel Threatens PA over ICC Arrest Warrants

‘Unnaturally Afraid’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed deep concern over the possibility of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issuing an arrest warrant for him and other high-ranking officials, according to Israeli media.

This comes amid Israeli media reports of the potential issuance of arrest warrants by the ICC against Netanyahu and other Israeli political and military leaders – such as Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Chief of Staff Herzl Halevi – for alleged violations of international law in the ongoing assault of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli newspaper Maariv cited unnamed sources as saying that Netanyahu is “unnaturally afraid and worried” about the prospect of facing an ICC arrest warrant in The Hague.

‘Unnaturally Afraid’ – Netanyahu Worried ICC Could Issue Arrest Warrants

In recent days, according to the report, Netanyahu has reached out to various international leaders and officials, including US President Joe Biden, in an effort to prevent the issuance of such a warrant.

On Friday, Netanyahu said any decisions made by the ICC will not affect Israel’s actions, but would however “set a dangerous precedent.”

“Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense,” he wrote on X.

Netanyahu’s Lifeline

The Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post quoted an unnamed Israeli diplomatic source as saying that the ICC “could not act against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top IDF brass without overt or tactic support from the United States”.

“Where is Biden? Why is he quiet while Israel will potentially be thrown under the bus?” the source reportedly said.
“Mr. Khan’s candidacy was championed by his native Britain and supported by the U.S., so both countries may have influence if they warn Mr. Khan of what will happen if he proceeds,” the editorial said.

‘Absurd Position’ – Russia Slams US Hypocrisy over ICC, Israel

“If they don’t, President Biden and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak risk finding Americans and Britons next under the gun” the editorial continued.

Netanyahu said on Friday that any ICC decisions would not affect Israel’s actions but would set a dangerous precedent.

Israeli media have reported that officials are worried that the Court could issue arrest warrants against Netanyahu and other top officials for alleged violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza.

A Wall Street Journal editorial urged on Saturday the US and the UK to intervene.

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, 34,622 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,867 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. 

Gaza Genocide Continues: Casualties Reported Across Various Areas

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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  1. Israel. Making Jewish people look like crap. WAY TO GO!!!
    and anti-Semitism has nothing to do with Israel. it’s a made up word which is meaningless. F#ck Israel.

  2. Amazing how USA and Israel aren’t signed up members of the international criminal court?
    Odd that they don’t believe what the ICC say about what’s happening in Palestine.
    Yet Israel wants the ICC to investigate Hamas over Oct.6. 23. What utter hypocrisy.
    And now they are going around threatening the ICC ! ,well it isn’t the first time USA previously sanctioned members over investigations.
    When someone shows you who they are, Believe them!
    Beacons of democracy I think not.
    USA’s exportation of their device driven slavery & what do we do? Sign up/ log in to become ‘information slaves’to Musk,etc.brain harvesters/childhood destroyers.B.S promoters.Try em all at ICC, they’re all guilty

  3. Just had another look at the wikipedia article on “perverting the course of justice”. US equivalent is “obstruction of justice”. I suspect obstruction of justice would apply to US actions falling under the Alien Tort Statute, where the US administration has continued committing actions – arming Israel – while Israel was under investigation of genocide. It appears that the Wall Street Journal would be found guilty of obstruction of justice in the US court system, and perverting the course of justice in the UK court system, if ever brought before them, for urging perverting the course of justice.

  4. If Satanyahu and his crew ,will not be arrested, then tthe war will be very bad, because IRAN will not allow that to happen, Yemen will enter in Israel believe me, that war will take more than a year.
    It is the same If they arrest Satanyahu, the war will be hot, because israkiller, will be like, our leaders are arrested, so what else we want, finish the the Palestinians.
    Rhats where things will get sour, don’t think other countries are quite because they are afraid, no they are not afraid to intervein, they are watching behind curtains.
    Believe what I said, this war ,will expand into other countries.
    Let’s wait and see

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