Hungary won’t detain Israel’s Netanyahu despite ICC ruling

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Hungary has said it would not enforce an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on its territory. Government minister Gergely Gulyas told reporters in Budapest on Thursday that Netanyahu would not be detained if he visited Hungary.

Hungary is a signatory of the Rome Statute which established the ICC, but Gulyas said provisions for the enforcement of the court’s decisions are not yet fully in force in the central European country. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is seen as an ally of Netanyahu, who condemned the ICC move as “outrageous” and a “disgrace.”

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan on Monday said he is seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu, his Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and three leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas over war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Israel and the Gaza Strip since the October 7 attacks.

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The judges of the ICC’s pre-trial chamber will now decide whether the requested arrest warrants will be issued, meaning that formal proceedings can be initiated against the accused. Budapest said last year it would not enforce an ICC arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine.