Jerusalem24 – Israeli Security Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel estimates that hundreds of its citizens may be vulnerable to war crimes investigations by the International Criminal Court, which Israel rejects its jurisdiction and is looking for a way to protect them.
“I have never been afraid to cross enemy lines,” Gantz, who may be personally among those targeted by the court, (Gantz was the IDF chief of staff during the 2014 war between Israel). “I will continue to hold out wherever it demands it.”
Last month, the Hague-based court ruled its jurisdiction over the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. This decision could lead to criminal investigations against Israel.
Noting that Israel is not a member of the court and rejects its jurisdiction, a position in which it is supported by its close ally, the United States.
From their part Palestinians welcomed the decision considering it an opportunity to obtain justice for the victims of the Israeli attacks.
while Gantz described the decision as a “negative development,” adding: “We have our own teams working in different places to try and influence the International Criminal Court,” according to Israeli media.
Asked by Reuters about the number of Israelis, including himself, who might be at risk of arrest if the investigation leads to criminal investigations, Gantz said: “I think several hundreds, but we will take care of everyone.”
Gantz called this an “estimate”, declining to reveal whether Israel had put together a list of officials.
He said that Israel will provide legal aid to any Israeli who will be included in the order and will give them legal warnings about travel if necessary.