Israel to pay $32,000 in ICC legal fees for Netanyahu and Gallant

Israel to pay $32,000 in ICC legal fees for Netanyahu and Gallant
Israel is set to pay 120,000 shekels for legal representation after the ICC chief prosecutor filed a request for arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant.
2 min read
21 June, 2024
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (L) are facing possible charges at the International Criminal Court [Getty]

Israel will pay 120,000 shekels (US$32,000) for 20 days of legal representation for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, following a request by International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan to issue arrest warrants for the Israeli leaders. 

In May, chief prosecutor Karim Khan's moved to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, as well as three senior Hamas leaders. 

Israeli ministers denounced the decision as "outrageous" and a "moral outrage," objecting to the comparison with Hamas.

Israeli news outlet Haaretz reports that the Israeli Justice Ministry stated that the fees did not require a government tender as it argued the process of doing so could significantly impact Israel’s security and foreign relations. 

According to the publication, lawyers Daniel Reisner and Roy Schondorf, who is a former Deputy Attorney General for International Law in Israel’s state prosecutor's office, will be paid for the defence.

Schondorf has been an outspoken critic of last year’s controversial judicial overhaul which was backed by Netanyahu’s government.  

He previously spoke of Khan’s application for arrest warrants against the Israeli officials, saying that it was an indication that an arms embargo or economic sanctions could consequently be imposed on Israel.

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Khan said there was good enough evidence to prosecute Netanyahu and Gallant, as well as three Hamas leaders - Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh - for war crimes and crimes against humanity in both Gaza and Israel. 

To proceed, the prosecutor must request warrants from a panel of three judges, who typically take about two months to evaluate evidence before deciding on further steps. 

Israel is not a member of the court, and Netanyahu and Gallant face no immediate risk of prosecution if warrants are issued.

However, Khan's application increases Israel's international isolation amid its brutal assault in the Palestinian enclave which has killed over 37,000 people, and complicates travel abroad for Israeli leaders. 

Khan emphasized in a statement that Israel used starvation tactics and collective punishments against Gaza's civilian population, causing widespread suffering.  

The consequences include malnutrition, dehydration, and escalating casualties among Palestinians, including children and women. 

Israel's months-long ground and air campaign has left Gaza in ruins and left nearly the entire population homeless and destitute.