Spying, hacking and intimidation: Israel’s nine-year ‘war’ on the ICC exposed

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Exclusive: Investigation reveals how intelligence agencies tried to derail war crimes prosecution, with Netanyahu ‘obsessed’ with intercepts

Harry DaviesBethan McKernan and Yuval Abraham in Jerusalem and Meron Rapoport in Tel AvivTue 28 May 2024 13.00 BSTShare

This shows yet again how Israel planned and allowed the whole October event by years of intimidation and threats – Mark

When the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court (ICC) announced he was seeking arrest warrants against Israeli and Hamas leaders, he issued a cryptic warning: “I insist that all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence the officials of this court must cease immediately.”

Karim Khan did not provide specific details of attempts to interfere in the ICC’s work, but he noted a clause in the court’s foundational treaty that made any such interference a criminal offence. If the conduct continued, he added, “my office will not hesitate to act”.

The prosecutor did not say who had attempted to intervene in the administration of justice, or how exactly they had done so.

Now, an investigation by the Guardian and the Israeli-based magazines +972 and Local Call can reveal how Israel has run an almost decade-long secret “war” against the court. The country deployed its intelligence agencies to surveil, hack, pressure, smear and allegedly threaten senior ICC staff in an effort to derail the court’s inquiries.

Israeli intelligence captured the communications of numerous ICC officials, including Khan and his predecessor as prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, intercepting phone calls, messages, emails and documents.

The surveillance was ongoing in recent months, providing Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with advance knowledge of the prosecutor’s intentions. A recent intercepted communication suggested that Khan wanted to issue arrest warrants against Israelis but was under “tremendous pressure from the United States”, according to a source familiar with its contents.

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www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/28/spying-hacking-intimidation-israel-war-icc-exposed

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