Home » Benjamin Netanyahu’s arrest would not end Gaza war, says Britain

Benjamin Netanyahu’s arrest would not end Gaza war, says Britain

“As we have said from the outset, we do not think the ICC has jurisdiction in this case. The UK has not yet recognised Palestine as a state, and Israel is not a State Party to the Rome Statute.”

The ICC relies on its member countries to carry out arrests on their territory.

Labour called for Benjamin Netanyahu to be arrested if the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues a warrant for his arrest.

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, said that the UK and all parties to the Rome Statute, which underpins the ICC, “have a legal obligation” to comply with its warrants.

“Arrest warrants are not a conviction or determination of guilt, but they do reflect the evidence and judgment of the prosecutor about the grounds for individual criminal responsibility,” he told the Commons.

“Labour’s position is that the decision by the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor to apply for arrest warrants is an independent matter for the court and the prosecutor.

“And Labour believes that the UK and all parties to the Rome Statute have a legal obligation to comply with orders and warrants issued by the court. Democracies who believe in the rule of law must submit themselves to it.”

US president Joe Biden issued a furious statement against the decision.

It said: “The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous. And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence – none – between Israel and Hamas.  We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

Israel earlier condemned the move by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor to seek an arrest warrant for Mr Netanyahu, saying it was tantamount to attacking the victims of October 7.

As well as Mr Netanyahu, the ICC is seeking arrest warrants for Israel’s defence minister and three top Hamas leaders including Yahya Sinwar, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the Oct 7 attacks on Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza.