By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The ICC’s pre-trial chamber had reportedly given the UK until July 12 to submit its full claim, but it now seems highly unlikely that the new government will proceed.

The new Labour government in the UK is expected to abandon efforts to delay the International Criminal Court (ICC) from deciding whether to issue an arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu over alleged war crimes in Gaza, the British newspaper The Guardian reported on Monday.

According to the paper, the new UK Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, spoke to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday about the “ongoing suffering and devastating loss of life” in Gaza and expressed his belief that Palestinians have an undeniable right to a Palestinian state.

Starmer also reportedly communicated with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, stressing the “clear and urgent” need for a ceasefire in Gaza. 

“He added that it was also important to ensure the long-term conditions for a two-state solution were in place, including ensuring the Palestinian Authority had the financial means to operate effectively,” a readout of the call said, according to the Guardian.

‘Looming Possibility’ – Netanyahu Expects ICC Arrest Warrants soon

Secret Request

“In a submission to the ICC, made by the previous government, the UK had claimed the court did not have jurisdiction over Israeli nationals,” the report said, adding that “Britain’s request to lodge the challenge was made on 10 June in secret but was revealed a fortnight ago by the ICC.”

The ICC’s pre-trial chamber had reportedly given the UK until July 12 to submit its full claim, but it now seems highly unlikely that the new government will proceed, removing the potential delay on the ICC pre-trial chamber ruling on the request for arrest warrants, according to the report.

In 2021, the ICC ruled that the Court had jurisdiction over any alleged violations of the Rome Statute, the ICC’s foundational charter, in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

Arms Sales

This may not be the only sign of a policy shift in the UK. According to the Guardian, British Foreign Secretary David Lammy announced he would begin reviewing issues such as the future funding of the Palestinian relief works agency UNRWA.

Additionally, Lammy commented on the legal advice about the legitimacy of arms sales to Israel, by saying: “I made the solemn undertaking in parliament that I would look at the legal assessments, and I will begin that process, of course, as soon as I’m able to. I expect that to begin next week as I sit down with officials.”

Last month, in a statement issued in Geneva, a group of 30 experts, including several UN Special Rapporteurs, reiterated their demand for an immediate cessation of weapons and ammunition transfers to Israel.

The risk is heightened by the recent International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision ordering Israel to halt its military operations in Rafah, recognizing genocide as a plausible risk.

‘Severe Violations’ – UN Experts Call for Immediate Cessation of Arms Transfers to Israel

Additionally, they noted that the top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has also sought arrest warrants for Israeli leaders accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“In this context, continuing arms transfers to Israel may be seen as knowingly assisting with operations that contravene international human rights and international humanitarian laws and may result in profit from such assistance,” the experts said.

They stressed that stopping arms transfers should include indirect transfers through intermediary countries that could ultimately be used by Israeli forces, especially in ongoing attacks on Gaza.

According to UN experts, arms companies must regularly conduct enhanced human rights due diligence to ensure their products are not used in ways that violate international laws.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

The post Labour Government Signals Policy Shift, Drops ICC Challenge on Netanyahu – Report appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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