The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Holland. (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
The International Criminal Court (ICC)

President Herzog condemns potential ICC warrants for Israeli officials, warning against hindering global fight against terrorism.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

As concerns grow in Jerusalem that the International Criminal Court may issue arrest warrants for top Israeli officials, President Isaac Herzog denounced on Tuesday what he called attempts to “abuse international legal institutions – including the ICC – to deny the state of Israel its basic rights.”

“As I have reiterated over the last months to leaders from around the world: Israel has the full right and duty to free our hostages and defend our citizens,” Herzog wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The state of Israel, our military, and security forces are working tirelessly to achieve these goals, operating totally in accordance with international law,” the President stressed. “I unequivocally object to any attempt to abuse international legal institutions – including the ICC – to deny the state of Israel its basic rights. We have an independent and robust judicial system that knows how to investigate as needed.”

He warned that issuing warrants “will only serve to tie the hands of all free and democratic nations in the fight against terror.”

In recent days, reports have multiplied that the ICC chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, may soon issue warrants for the arrest of senior Israeli officials for war crimes, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Chief of the Israel Defense Forces Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi. It is also speculated that Khan will ask for warrants to be issued against Hamas leaders.

Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, which founded the ICC and went into effect in 2002.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Ministry began preparing for the possibility of warrants being issued. Foreign Minister Israel Katz instructed the country’s embassies to “immediately prepare for the outbreak of a severe anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli anti-Semitic wave in the world.”

Due to what the Foreign Ministry said is the “seriousness of the threat,” Katz also instructed Israeli representatives to impress on local Jewish communities the need to boost security for their institutions.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Around 30 of the remaining 133 hostages are believed dead.

Do You Love Israel? Make a Donation - Show Your Support!

Donate to vital charities that help protect Israeli citizens and inspire millions around the world to support Israel too!

Now more than ever, Israel needs your help to fight and win the war -- including on the battlefield of public opinion.

Antisemitism, anti-Israel bias and boycotts are out of control. Israel's enemies are inciting terror and violence against innocent Israelis and Jews around the world. Help us fight back!