Israel leaders across political spectrum expresses outrage over ICC warrant request for Netanyahu

"The ICC arrest warrants are a complete moral failure," Yair Lapid said.

Published: May 20, 2024 10:17am

Updated: May 20, 2024 1:17pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political opposition is expressing support for him and outrage over the International Criminal Court after it applied for his arrest warrant.

The ICC also filed arrest warrant applications on Monday for Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Hamas leaders Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, the latter of whom resides in Qatar.

"The ICC arrest warrants are a complete moral failure, we cannot accept the outrageous comparison between Netanyahu and Sinwar, between the leaders of Israel and the leaders of Hamas," Yair Lapid, one of Netanyahu's most vocal opponents in the Knesset, said on X, formerly Twitter.

Benny Gantz, who is in a coalition government with Netanyahu, also expressed his support for the prime minister even though polls suggest Gantz would likely take Netanyahu's spot if elections were held today.

"The State of Israel embarked on the most just war, after a massacre by a terrorist organization against its citizens," Gantz wrote on X, referring to the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack that killed 1,200 people. He said Israel "fights in the most moral way in history," and the ICC decision shows "moral blindness."

Israel, as well as the United States, are not members of the ICC, but the court claims to have jurisdiction over Palestine after the Palestinian Authority signed the court's treaty in 2015. However, Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, did not sign the treaty.

At least one European leader has condemned the court's decision.

"The ICC Chief Prosecutor's proposal to issue an arrest warrant for the representatives of a democratically elected government together with the leaders of an Islamist terrorist organisation is appalling and completely unacceptable," Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala wrote on X. 

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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