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Applications for arrest warrants submitted to the ICC

Prosecutor Karim Khan has asked the Pre-Trial Chamber at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to issue arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Larissa van den Herik, Professor of Public International Law, discusses the case on Dutch radio programme ‘Nieuws en Co’.

Besides Benjamin Netanyahu, applications have also been submitted for the arrests of Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and two other Hamas leaders, reports Nieuws en Co.

Professor Van den Herik refers to this is a ‘major development’. In recent months, South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice has attracted a huge amount of media coverage. The issue of which role the International Criminal Court could and should play has been hanging in the air and remains as yet unanswered.

The charges have now been formulated in detail and are based on various pieces of evidence including satellite images, witness testimonies, video footage and statements from the political leaders involved. Van den Herik says it’s now up to the judges at the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide whether there are sufficient grounds to issue the arrest warrants.

How will Israel's allies respond to this decision?

A distinction has to be made between states that are parties and those that are not. ‘US senators – not party to the ICC – have already announced their intention to stop all support for the ICC and impose sanctions against the prosecutor and his family,’ says Professor Van den Herik. The Netherlands, meanwhile, is a party and has an obligation to cooperate. How that obligation relates to the immunity issue is still subject to debate. However, merely issuing an arrest warrant may already have an effect, as we saw in Putin’s absence from the BRICS conference in South Africa.

More information

Listen to the full Nieuws en Co broadcast (in Dutch)

Photo: Tingey Injury through Unsplash

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