Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan has announced that his office is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant as co-perpetrators for potential war crimes in the State of Palestine. 

International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) welcomes the move, following our submission of evidence to the ICC, which was collected from first hand eyewitnesses, including from a significant number of medical professionals who have been in Gaza since October. The evidence was collected by ICJP’s investigation and legal teams, which include former British police detectives, who collected the evidence to British police force standards. 

If arrest warrants are issued, Gallant and Netanyahu, along with three senior Hamas individuals also charged by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), they would be active in the 124 countries that are State Parties to the Rome Statue, including the United Kingdom. British police would have an obligation to arrest those individuals if they travelled to the United Kingdom. 

Despite widespread reports that there were threats and attempts to undermine the independence and impartiality of the ICC, the OTP has resolved to pursue its mandate of upholding international law without fear or favour. 

Gallant and Netanyahu are believed to bear criminal responsibility for the following war crimes: starvation of civilians as a method of warfare, wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health, wilful killing, and intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population. The following crimes against humanity have also been listed: extermination and/or murder, persecution and other inhumane acts.  

Now, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) must take clear action to protect the rules-based international order by supporting the ICC’s move. FCDO must ensure with all certainty that it ensures it is in no way complicit with the current Israeli government, especially now that the war crimes of its leadership have been made more explicit than ever. 

Whilst many doubted the ICC would apply for arrest warrants for Israeli suspected war criminals we did not. Any independent analysis of the evidence will result in an overwhelming appreciation that Israel has engaged in the most serious of war crimes. It was on this analysis that we based our view and trust in the ICC that it would live up to its mandate.

But now, finally, the ICC has taken the first step to break impunity and hold Israeli politicians and military personnel accountable.

We will continue to provide the ICC with credible evidence of war crimes and work with the international community to guard the ICC against unlawful interference with its proceedings. There is still a long road ahead before we can say that justice has been done.


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