Israeli sources: Netanyahu confessed to Biden that he is AFRAID of ICC arrest warrants
05/01/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confessed to U.S. President Joe Biden that he fears the arrest warrants set to be issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him over the genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Two senior Israeli officials disclosed the development to Axios, adding that it happened during an April 28 phone conversation between the two leaders. According to the two, Netanyahu expressed his concern about the arrest warrants during the call. Because of this, the longest-serving Israeli prime minister asked Biden to help prevent the issuance of the warrants.

"Israeli officials have grown increasingly concerned over the last two weeks that the ICC is preparing to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu, [Israeli] Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff Herzi Halevi," Axios added.

Meanwhile, a White House readout about the call expounded on the topics that Biden and Netanyahu touched on. The two leaders discussed hostage negotiations with Hamas, Israel's defense against Iran's missile attack and the need to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza. "The leaders [also] discussed Rafah and the president reiterated his clear position," the readout said.

According to Axios, U.S. officials said they do not have a clear indication of whether the ICC is going to issue arrest warrants. However, they said the prosecutor's office is under pressure from ICC member states and non-governmental organizations to do so.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council declined to comment on the contents of Netanyahu's call with Biden. They told the outlet, however: "As we have publicly said many times, the ICC has no jurisdiction in this situation and we do not support its investigation."

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The ICC, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, has been investigating possible war crimes by both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants. Its probe dates back to the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, which has control of the Gaza Strip. (Related: TIMELINE: 75 Years of Israel's human rights abuses against Palestinians.)

Tel Aviv denounces ICC's potential issuance of arrest warrants

Two days before his call with Biden, Netanyahu took to X to blast the ICC's potential issuance of arrest warrants against him and other Israeli officials.

"Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense. The threat to seize the soldiers and officials of the Middle East's only democracy and the world's only Jewish state is outrageous. We will not bow to it," Netanyahu wrote.

"Israel will continue to wage to victory our just war against genocidal terrorists, and we will never stop defending ourselves. While the ICC will not affect Israel's actions, it would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the soldiers and officials of all democracies fighting savage terrorism and wanton aggression."

On the same day as Netanyahu's call with Biden, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz stressed that Tel Aviv "will not bow … or be deterred." He also voiced out that he expects the ICC to refrain from issuing arrest warrants.

Meanwhile, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – a separate body also located in The Hague – is hearing a case brought by South Africa that accuses Israel of genocide with its military campaign in Gaza. Tel Aviv has denounced the case put forward by Pretoria as "baseless," and U.S. officials have defended Israel in proceedings at the ICJ.

But according to genocide researcher Arnesa Buljusmic-Kustura, she doesn't believe the ICC and ICJ were on the verge of indicting Netanyahu and other Israeli officials unless the two entities "have a bulletproof case."

"From my own sources, I can truly say the investigators and most of the ICC is taking the case incredibly seriously and many do understand the diplomatic precariousness involved here," Buljusmic-Kustura told Newsweek. "Whatever decision the ICC makes, it is likely to influence the ICJ decisions too. If the ICC indicted Netanyahu on genocide, it would be very likely that the ICJ would come out to state that Israel [is] guilty of genocide at their level."

Watch former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arguing that Netanyahu has to go "as soon as possible" during an appearance on "Cavuto Live" below.

This video is from the NewsClips channel on

More related stories:

Israel accuses Biden of trying to topple Netanyahu after U.S. president said Israeli Prime Minister needs to "come to Jesus."

Turkey files lawsuit against Netanyahu, accusing him and Israel of committing "genocide" in Gaza.

Israel and South Africa face off at the International Court of Justice over Gaza genocide case.

BRICS core member South Africa urges ICC to PROSECUTE Israel for war crimes.

ICJ begins hearings on South Africa’s genocide case against Israel.

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