Israel Warns Palestine Of “Punishment” If Leaders Are Prosecuted

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Several media outlets reported last month that the International Criminal Court (ICC) could charge Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several other top-ranking officials with war crimes over the ongoing military campaign against Hamas in Gaza. Israel has since issued a warning to Palestine, saying that the United States will punish the Palestinian Authority and cause its collapse if the ICC issues arrest warrants for the Jewish state’s leaders.

The ICC, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands, has been investigating possible war crimes by both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants since 2021. These crimes date back to the 2014 Israel-Hamas war. That investigation has been extended to the October 7th attacks and the war that has been raging in Gaza since then, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Axios reported on this warning issued by Israel on Thursday. According to Israeli and U.S. officials who spoke to Axios reporter Barak Ravid, the Israeli government told the Biden administration that, if arrest warrants are issued, it will consider the Palestinian Authority responsible and will retaliate with strong action against it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then asked U.S. ruler Joe Biden last week to stop the ICC from pursuing him, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi. The Biden administration reportedly conveyed to ICC officials that arrest warrants against the Israeli leaders would be a mistake.

One possible measure could be to freeze the transfer of tax revenues that Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority, Axios has claimed. Without these funds, the Palestinian Authority would go bankrupt, it added.

Another possible course of action would be “an official decision to punish the Palestinian Authority, which could lead to its collapse,” a senior Israeli official told Axios.

The country’s leadership believes the threat of ICC arrest warrants to be real, the publication added. The outlet did not specify what action was under consideration by Israel. –RT

Israel Offers Ceasefire Deal To Hamas

Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, and does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction, according to a report by RT. However, should a warrant in Netanyahu’s name be issued, his travel could be restricted, as the 124 countries that recognize the court may consider themselves obliged to arrest him.

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