Netanyahu slams ICC prosecutor's arrest warrant bid

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed strong opposition to the decision by the International Criminal Court prosecutor to seek arrest warrants for Israeli leaders.

The ICC chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, said on Monday that he is requesting arrest warrants for five people, including Netanyahu and Hamas' leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.

Khan said people on both sides of the conflict "bear criminal responsibility" for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In response, Netanyahu said in a video message on Monday, "Mr. Khan creates a twisted and false moral equivalence between the leaders of Israel and the henchmen of Hamas."

Appearing in an ABC program in the United States on Tuesday from Israel, he said Khan is "pouring gasoline on the fires of anti-Semitism that are spreading around the world."

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Tuesday that the Israeli government "will try to convince the US government and Congress to impose sanctions on the ICC in response to the prosecutor's request."

The Times of Israel said, "Should the warrants be granted by the court's judges, Netanyahu would join the ranks of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin."

The paper went on to say that the impact on "Israel's standing around the world would be disastrous."