Netanyahu Faces Arrest in Germany Over ICC Charges

( – Germany has warned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be arrested if he enters the country after the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s office requested arrest warrants for several Israeli officials.

On the list are Netanyahu, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh and Mohammed Deif over war crimes allegations. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, said when asked by reporters whether the country would execute an ICC arrest warrant that Germany would “of course” do so, adding that they would comply with international law. The warning follows Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor’s visit to Berlin, during which he directly pleaded with Germany’s government to reject the ICC’s arrest warrant if the ICC’s judges grant the prosecutor’s request.

Prosor accused chief prosecutor Karim Khan of falsely equating a “democratic government” in Tel Aviv with Hamas and “demonizing” Jewish people as a result. He predicted that the warrant would be a “nail in the coffin” of Western institutions and claimed that Khan had “lost his moral compass”. If the warrants requested are granted by the ICC judges, 124 of the world’s countries including all European Union members will be required by law to arrest the Israeli prime minister and defense minister on sight. Though Palestine is an ICC member, Israel and the U.S. are not.

The ICC was originally formed in response to the Holocaust. U.S. President Joe Biden, has brought in new measures to curb antisemitism on university campuses despite mounting calls from students and progressives in his own party to hold the Israeli regime to account. Biden attacked Khan’s warrant requests. The president reaffirmed his support for Israel and called Khan’s decision “outrageous”, claiming there was no evidence to justify the arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant. The president argued there was “no equivalence” between Israel’s regime and Hamas, despite the assault on Gaza killing 35,000 people in response to the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas that massacred 1,200 Israelis.

Hamas was equally unimpressed with Khan’s requests and called for those against its leaders to be removed, accusing the prosecutor of drawing a false parallel between the “victim” and the “executioner”. Khan stated that Israel had a right to self-defense, but claimed it had violated international law by carrying out war crimes. Israel’s alleged offenses include extermination, murder, intentional attacks on civilians and starvation as a weapon of war. Netanyahu called the prosecutor “one of the greatest antisemites” in the modern era in response to the warrant requests.

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