Will a Netanyahu arrest warrant help the ICC regain its credibility?

Diana Estefanía Rubio

Will a Netanyahu arrest warrant help the ICC regain its credibility?

Since its inception in 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants and summons to appear to 51 individuals accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and offences against the administration of justice, which in this case mostly means false testimony.

Of those still alive, 14 are still at large with outstanding warrants. Some of the more infamous defendants in cases brought before the court are former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the sole official accused of the crime of genocide, as well as the late commander of the Armed Forces of Libya Muammar Gaddafi, and Joseph Kony, commander-in-chief of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda in the early 2000s.

The current cases under investigation focus primarily on the African continent. Ten of 16 investigations are tied to countries like Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Libya. Other investigations include those in Palestine, Venezuela, Ukraine, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Georgia. Due to the focus on armed conflicts on the African continent, some states claim the ICC is a neo-colonial tool trying to shift attention away from the crimes committed by nationals of the countries that ratified the underlying Rome Statute.

In a new development, an application for arrest warrants was requested at the start of last week (20 May) by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant, as well as Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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