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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant during a press conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv , Israel , 28 October 2023.

Abir Sultan/Reuters

What happens if the ICC issues an arrest warrant for Netanyahu?

The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor, Karim Khan, on Monday announced that he’s seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as Hamas leaders over allegations of war crimes on and since Oct. 7.

Israel’s top diplomat condemned the decision as a “disgrace.”

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Displaced Palestinians, who fled Rafah after the Israeli military began evacuating civilians from the eastern parts of the southern Gazan city, ahead of a threatened assault, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, travel on a vehicle, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip May 6, 2024.

REUTERS/Ramadan Abed

Hamas accepts cease-fire proposal, but Israel still strikes Rafah

On Tuesday, the Israeli military reported its tanks had rolled into Rafah and established control over the Gaza side of the border crossing with Egypt. The incursion was more restrained than the long-threatened ground invasion was expected to be, likely because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing pressure to agree to a cease-fire with Hamas, which is backed by the United States and Arab nations.

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An Israeli soldier looks on from a vehicle near the Israel-Gaza border, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Israel, April 30, 2024.

REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Netanyahu: Rafah invasion looms, cease-fire or not

Despite offering a watered-down hostage deal proposal to Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said an invasion of Rafah — the southern Gaza city where over a million Palestinians are sheltering — would move forward “with or without” a cease-fire.

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People attend a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and to call for the release of hostages kidnapped in the deadly October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 27, 2024.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

ICC arrests and Rafah invasion threats loom

Some Israeli officials reportedly believe the International Criminal Court is preparing to issuearrest warrants for high-ranking Israeli officials and Hamas operatives. While such warrants may not ever result in a trial, they may be seen as another moral rebuke of Israel.

Neither the court nor Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office have commented, but Bibi did warn last week against ICC interference that “would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the soldiers and officials of all democracies fighting savage terrorism …”

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Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from Lebanon towards Israel over the Israeli Lebanese border, as seen from northern Israel, April 12, 2024.

REUTERS/Ayal Margolin

Iran strikes Israel. How will Netanyahu respond?

On Saturday, Iran launched roughly 300 drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation for Israel’s April 1 bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria. Some 99% of Iranian projectiles were destroyed by a combination of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, US firepower, and assistance from Britain, Germany, and reportedly Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Israel suffered minimal damage and no casualties.

The question now is what comes next, for the region, the Israel-Hamas war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the world’s great powers?

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Israeli soldiers prepare to enter Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, at Israel's border with Gaza in southern Israel, April 7, 2024.

REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Bibi sets date for Rafah invasion

Israel pulled troops from Khan Younis in southern Gaza this weekend, but the move doesn’t signal an end to hostilities. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans Monday for the invasion of Rafah.

“This victory requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there. It will happen — there is a date,” he said, without naming the exact date.

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President Joe Biden pauses during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023.

Miriam Alster/REUTERS

Biden puts Bibi on notice

President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time since Israeli strikes killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza.

Biden told Netanyahu that the humanitarian situation in Gaza and strikes on aid workers were “unacceptable,” the White House readout of the call said.

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FILE PHOTO: Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, speaks during an election campaign rally in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, February 25, 2020.

REUTERS/Corinna Kern

Gantz effectively abandons Bibi

Benny Gantz, an Israeli war cabinet member and political rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Wednesday called for early elections in September. This is the first time Gantz, leader of the National Unity Party and a former defense minister, has pushed for this since the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, 2023, and it’s a major rebuke of Netanyahu.

Gantz, who joined an emergency unity government with Netanyahu after the attacks, says a September election is necessary to “prevent the rift in the nation” and “it will also allow the citizens of Israel to know that we will soon renew the trust between us."

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