Germany says it will ARREST Benjamin Netanyahu if he sets foot in the country following


Germany will arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he enters the country amid allegations of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, a spokesperson has confirmed.

Steffen Hebestreit, a spokesperson for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, confirmed on Wednesday the country would ‘abide by the law’ and arrest the under-fire Israeli leader should he visit the EU nation.

This comes after British prosecutor Karim Khan announced on Monday that he is seeking warrants for Netanyahu, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three Hamas terror chiefs including Yahya Sinwar, the ruler in Gaza who masterminded October 7.

Netanyahu labelled the allegations a ‘distortion of reality’ and accused the prosecutor of ‘callously pouring gasoline on the fires of antisemitism that are raging across the world’.

Germany’s decision comes after Israel’s Ambassador to Berlin, Ron Prosor, made a desperate plea to the German government to reject the ICC’s proposed arrest warrant.

Israel's prime minister (pictured earlier this month) has slammed comparisons between his government and Hamas

Israel’s prime minister (pictured earlier this month) has slammed comparisons between his government and Hamas

Olaf Scholz (pictured) is under fire after a spokesperson confirmed Germany would arrest Benjamin Netanyahu if he entered the country

Olaf Scholz (pictured) is under fire after a spokesperson confirmed Germany would arrest Benjamin Netanyahu if he entered the country

Arrest warrants have also been issued for three Hamas leaders including Yahya Sinwar (pictured), who masterminded the October 7 attacks

Arrest warrants have also been issued for three Hamas leaders including Yahya Sinwar (pictured), who masterminded the October 7 attacks

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday Prosor wrote: “This is outrageous! The German “Staatsräson” is now being put to the test—no ifs or buts.

‘This contrasts with the weak statements we hear from some institutions and political actors. The public statement that Israel has the right to self-defense loses credibility if our hands are tied as soon as we defend ourselves.’

Staatsräson refers to Germany’s long-standing commitment to the defence of Israel, a policy declared by former Chancellor Angela Merkel during a 2008 speech to the Knesset.

Prosor added: ‘The Chief Prosecutor equates a democratic government with Hamas, thereby demonizing and delegitimizing Israel and the Jewish people.

‘He has completely lost his moral compass. Germany has a responsibility to readjust this compass.

‘This disgraceful political campaign could become a nail in the coffin for the West and its institutions. Do not let it come to that!’

Netanyahu has furiously condemned the ICC for ‘daring to compare’ Israel with ‘mass murderers’ after an arrest warrant was issued for both the Israeli prime minister and Hamas leaders.

The aftermath of an Israeli strike on a house in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on May 18

The aftermath of an Israeli strike on a house in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on May 18

Israeli soldiers walk among the remains of a scorched house following the deadly October 7 attack by Hamas gunmen

Israeli soldiers walk among the remains of a scorched house following the deadly October 7 attack by Hamas gunmen

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz also slammed the move, calling it an ‘unrestrained frontal assault’ on the victims of October 7 and a ‘historical disgrace that will be remembered forever’. He said he was establishing a task force to fight against the decision.

In an interview on Monday, prosecutor Khan said the warrants are for war crimes and crimes against humanity over the Hamas terror group’s deadly October 7 attack on Israel and Israel‘s subsequent war in the Gaza Strip.

The ICC’s decision has been met with mixed reactions from the international community, with Downing Street labelling it ‘unhelpful’ and US President Joe Biden calling it ‘outrageous’, while other world leaders said they supported the investigation.

Khan said warrants were being sought for Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri (aka Mohammed Deif), the leader of the Al Qassem Brigades – Hamas’ military wing, and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader.

He told CNN that the charges against the trio include ‘extermination, murder, taking of hostages, rape and sexual assault in detention.’

Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri is the leader of the Al Qassem Brigades - Hamas' military wing

Ismail Haniyeh the head of Hamas' political wing is based in Qatar

The ICC is also seeking the arrest of Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri (aka Mohammed Deif, pictured left), the leader of the Al Qassem Brigades – Hamas’ military wing, and Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader who is based in Qatar

 ‘The world was shocked on the 7th of October when people were ripped from their bedrooms, from their homes, from the different kibbutzim in Israel,’ Khan told CNN host Christiane Amanpour, adding that ‘people have suffered enormously.’

In a separate statement, he said that he saw for himself ‘the devastating scenes of these attacks and the profound impact of the unconscionable crimes charged in the applications. 

‘Speaking with survivors, I heard how the love within a family, the deepest bonds between a parent and a child, were contorted to inflict unfathomable pain through calculated cruelty and extreme callousness. These acts demand accountability.’

He also said the ICC was applying for warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant for their part in the assault on the Gaza strip which was launched in the wake of October 7 and continues to this day.

‘We have applied for warrants – of course the judges must determine whether or not to issue them, but we have applied today,’ he told Amanpour on Monday.

He said the charges against Netanyahu and Gallant include ‘crimes of causing extermination, causing starvation as a method of war including the denial of humanitarian relief supplies, deliberately targeting civilians in conflict.’

Speaking of Israel’s actions, Khan said in a statement that ‘the effects of the use of starvation as a method of warfare, together with other attacks and collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza are acute, visible and widely known. 

Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant (pictured) is the other official accused of war crimes by the ICC

Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant (pictured) is the other official accused of war crimes by the ICC

In an interview on Monday, Karim Khan (pictured in April) said the warrants are for war crimes and crimes against humanity over the terror group's deadly October 7 attack and Israel's subsequent war in the Gaza Strip

In an interview on Monday, Karim Khan (pictured in April) said the warrants are for war crimes and crimes against humanity over the terror group’s deadly October 7 attack and Israel’s subsequent war in the Gaza Strip

 ‘They include malnutrition, dehydration, profound suffering and an increasing number of deaths among the Palestinian population, including babies, other children, and women,’ he added.

Hamas has also rejected the equivalence to Israel, with the group saying it ‘strongly denounces’ the prosecutor’s attempts ‘to equate the victim with the executioner by issuing arrest warrants against a number of Palestinian resistance leaders.’

‘Hamas… demands the cancellation of all arrest warrants issued against leaders of the Palestinian resistance, for violating UN conventions and resolutions,’ it added.

Meanwhile senior Israeli officials slammed the ICC’s move to seek warrants against Netanyahu and his defence chief.

One slammed the ICC’s move as a ‘baseless blood libel’ against the country, while senior figures including President Isaac Herzog called the move ‘outrageous,’ saying it ‘cannot be accepted by anyone’.

‘[The] ICC prosecutor’s baseless blood libel against Israel has crossed a red line in his lawfare efforts against the lone Jewish state and the only democracy in the Middle East,’ the official said, according to the Financial Times.  

‘The blood libel will not deter Israel from defending itself and accomplishing all its just war objectives’ in Gaza, the official added.

‘Any attempt to draw parallels between these atrocious terrorists and a democratically elected government of Israel – working to fulfil its duty to defend and protect its citizens entirely in adherence to the principles of international law is outrageous and cannot be accepted by anyone,’ President Herzog said.

Benny Gantz, an Israeli war cabinet minister, called the ICC’s move a ‘distortion’.

‘Drawing parallels between the leaders of a democratic country determined to defend itself from despicable terror to leaders of a blood-thirsty terror organisation (Hamas) is a deep distortion of justice and blatant moral bankruptcy,’ he said.

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said he would ‘speak with foreign ministers of leading countries around the world to urge them to oppose the prosecutor’s decision and declare that even if warrants are issued, they do not intend to enforce them against Israeli leaders.’

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz (right) confirmed his plans to seek support from world leaders following the ICC announcement

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz (right) confirmed his plans to seek support from world leaders following the ICC announcement

Bezalel Smotrich, a far-right politician and finance minister, said the decision was a ‘show hypocrisy and Jew-hatred’.

‘Arrest warrants against them are arrest warrants against us all,’ he said. 

Foreign leaders also rebuked the ICC for seeking the warrants.

A spokesperson for British prime minister Rishi Sunak said: ‘This action is not helpful in relation to reaching a pause in the fighting, getting hostages out or getting humanitarian aid in.’ 

The spokesperson said that the ICC did not have the jurisdiction to request the arrest warrants.

‘The UK, as with other countries, does not yet recognise Palestine as a state and Israel is not a state party to the Rome Statute’, which outlines the ICC’s areas of jurisdiction, the spokesperson said. Israel and the US are not signatories.

Asked if the police would arrest Netanyahu if he came to Britain, the spokesperson said he would not comment on what he called ‘hypotheticals’.

‘We fully respect the independence of the ICC,’ Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer said. ‘The fact however that the leader of the terrorist organisation Hamas whose declared goal is the extinction of the State of Israel is being mentioned at the same time as the democratically elected representatives of that very State is non-comprehensible.’

Gaza has been under attack from Israeli forces since the Hamas terror attacks of October 7

Gaza has been under attack from Israeli forces since the Hamas terror attacks of October 7 

Palestinians sift through the remains of a home following an Israeli bombardment in the Tal al-Sultan neighbourhood of Rafah in southern Gaza on May 20, 2024

Palestinians sift through the remains of a home following an Israeli bombardment in the Tal al-Sultan neighbourhood of Rafah in southern Gaza on May 20, 2024

Meanwhile, country’s including Belgium and Slovenia said they supported the ICC’s ongoing investigation and that it must be allowed to run its course.

‘Crimes committed in Gaza must be prosecuted at the highest level, regardless of the perpetrators,’ Belgian foreign minister Hadja Lahbib said, hailing the arrest warrants for both Israeli and Hamas officials as an ‘important step in the investigation of the situation in Palestine’.

The United Nations and other aid agencies have repeatedly accused Israel of hindering aid deliveries throughout the war. Israel denies this, saying there are no restrictions on aid entering Gaza and accusing the UN of failing to distribute aid. 

The UN says aid workers have repeatedly come under Israeli fire, and also says ongoing fighting and a security vacuum have impeded deliveries. 





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