Norway says it is ‘obligated’ to arrest Netanyahu if ICC warrant confirmed

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Norwegian foreign minister says he expects all state parties to ICC to do the same

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Norway on Tuesday became the first European country to announce that it would arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant if warrants issued by a panel of judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) are confirmed.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said if arrest warrants are issued against Netanyahu and Gallant on behalf of the Hague Tribunal, they will be obliged to arrest them if they arrive in Norway.

A Norwegian online newspaper said Eide confirmed that Netanyahu risks being extradited if he visits Norway.

Noting that a panel of judges at the ICC will consider whether the arrest warrants should be issued, Eide reiterated that a person who the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for will have to expect to be handed over to the court in accordance with Norway’s obligations.

“We expect that all state parties to the ICC will do the same,” he added.

ICC Prosecutor General Karim Khan announced Monday that he had applied for arrest warrants against Netanyahu; Gallant; the head of the Palestinian group Hamas’s Politburo, Ismail Haniyeh; its top official in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and the head of Hamas’s military wing, Mohammed Deif.

The decision on whether any of the warrants will ultimately be issued lies with a panel of three ICC judges that will assess the evidence presented by Khan’s office.

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