Israeli Officials Believe I.C.C. Is Preparing Arrest Warrants Over War

Israeli officials increasingly believe that the International Criminal Court is preparing to issue arrest warrants for senior government officials on charges related to the conflict with Hamas, according to five Israeli and foreign officials.

The Israeli and foreign officials also believe the court is weighing arrest warrants for leaders from Hamas.

If the court proceeds, the Israeli officials could potentially be accused of preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and pursuing an excessively harsh response to the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, according to two of the five officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The Israeli officials, who are worried about the potential fallout from such a case, said they believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among those who might be named in a warrant. It is not clear who might be charged from Hamas or what crimes would be cited.

The Israeli officials did not disclose the nature of the information that led them to be concerned about potential I.C.C. action, and the court did not comment on the matter.

Arrest warrants from the court would probably be seen in much of the world as a humbling moral rebuke, particularly to Israel, which for months has faced international backlash over its conduct in Gaza, including from President Biden, who called it “over the top.”

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