UK’s ICC Argument Filing Could Postpone the Arrest Orders for Gallant and Netanyahu

UK’s ICC Argument Filing Could Postpone the Arrest Orders for Gallant and Netanyahu

The decision to issue arrest warrants for the Israeli prime minister and defense minister for alleged war crimes in Gaza may be postponed if the UK files arguments at the international criminal court.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled on Thursday that the British government could present legal reasons to judges considering prosecutor Karim Khan’s May request for arrest warrants for Yoav Gallant and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The UK, an ICC member state, requested earlier this month that the court provide written observations on whether “the court can exercise jurisdiction over Israeli nationals, in circumstances where Palestine cannot exercise criminal jurisdiction over Israeli nationals (under) the Oslo Accords,” according to court documents made public on Thursday.

Launched in 2021, the court is currently looking into any crimes that may fall under its jurisdiction that may have been perpetrated by Palestinians on Israeli land or on Palestinian territory.

Judges concluded that the court had jurisdiction in the same year that the Palestinian authorities registered with it in 2015 following their admission as an observer state of the UN.

But the decision deferred to a later phase of the proceedings a determination on the interpretation of the 1993 Oslo Accords establishing Palestinian jurisdiction over Israeli nationals.

The British claim that because the accords prohibit the Palestinian authority from having jurisdiction over Israeli nationals, they cannot transfer such jurisdiction to the ICC for the purpose of prosecuting Israelis.

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