The Israeli government has come under increasing pressure from protests at home as well as abroad over its handling of the war.Ohad Zwigenberg / AP

Israel fears ICC to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and other top officials

Israel is working through diplomatic channels to try to stop the warrants being issued by the International Criminal Court, an Israeli official told NBC News on Monday.

TEL AVIV — Israel is greatly concerned that the International Criminal Court (ICC) may issue arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and senior military officials as early as this week, an Israeli official told NBC News.

Israel is working through diplomatic channels to try to stop the warrants being issued, the official said Monday.

When asked about media reports of the arrest warrants, the ICC told NBC News that it “has an ongoing independent investigation in relation to the Situation in the State of Palestine” and that “we have no further comment to make at this stage.”

The court launched a probe three years ago into possible war crimes committed by both Israel and Palestinian militants going back to the Israel-Hamas war in 2014. It has given no public indication that arrest warrants are imminent, and it was not clear whether Israel was also expecting arrest warrants for any Hamas leaders.

The news comes as pressure mounts on Israel to halt its offensive in Gaza, which officials in the Palestinian enclave say has killed more than 35,000 people since it was launched in the wake of the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks.

Netanyahu spoke with President Joe Biden last night, and Israel is now awaiting a response from Hamas on a new cease-fire proposal.

Karim Khan, who serves as chief prosecutor of the ICC, visited the region in December and said that his investigation was “moving forward at pace, with rigor, with determination and with an insistence that we act not on emotion but on solid evidence.”

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