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Israel tells US it will punish Palestinian Authority if ICC issues warrants

Israeli officials have cautioned the Biden administration that potential arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israeli leaders could prompt retaliatory measures against the Palestinian Authority, potentially leading to its collapse, according to a report by Axios, citing sources from both Israel and the US.

The warning conveyed to the Biden administration emphasized that Israel would hold the Palestinian Authority accountable should such arrest warrants be issued, and it would respond forcefully, possibly causing the collapse of the Authority.

Among the proposed retaliatory actions, Israel could freeze the transfer of tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which would severely impact its financial stability and potentially lead to bankruptcy.

ICC investigation

The ICC is currently scrutinizing allegations of war crimes attributed to both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, focusing on incidents dating back to the 2014 conflict.

Despite no arrest warrants being issued by the ICC yet, Israel remains watchful of potential actions. Disputing the ICC’s jurisdiction, Israel, alongside its close ally, the US, has voiced opposition. Earlier this week, the White House stated that the ICC has no authority in Israel-Hamas war.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz expressed expectations that the court will thwart any attempts to issue warrants against senior Israeli figures, citing concerns that such actions could embolden groups like Hamas.

Concurrently, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is investigating accusations of genocide by Israel in the Gaza conflict, with any verdict expected to be protracted.

Israel continues to deny wrongdoing and alleges bias from both international courts.

Read More: How Israel is using AI to identify bombing targets in Gaza

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