Israeli authorities are preparing a law that would prohibit any cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and would propose five years in prison for any violations of this law, RT reported yesterday.
Reporting Israeli TV Channel 7, RT said the law would also include a ban on handing over Israeli nationals to the ICC, financing the expenses of legal defence before it and imposing penalties on the court and those working for it.
This, it explained, comes as part of a series of measures taken by Israel against the ICC after its announcement that it would probe potential Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.
Channel 7 reported that the bill is being inspired by the American Civil Service Protection Act, which was enacted in Congress in 2002.
The US law, which was known as the Invasion of The Hague, gives the US president wide ranging powers to do anything in order to release any American citizen arrested by the ICC, including the use of force.
Reporting the Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin, Channel 7 said that the Israeli law aims to create a legal safety network for Israeli soldiers and senior officials who could be prosecuted.
It will also sanction the tribunal’s members, ban them from entering Israel and impose restrictions against foreign entities that help them.
The ICC’s declared intention to investigate possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories has enraged Israel. The government has apparently drafted a list of its officials and former officials who should avoid foreign travel as they may be arrested and charged with such crimes.