ICC (International Criminal Court) in the Hague
ICC (International Criminal Court) in the HagueBas Czerwinski/Pool via REUTERS

The Israeli government has warned the Biden administration that if the International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants against Israeli leaders, it will take retaliatory steps against the Palestinian Authority that could lead to its collapse, Axios' Barak Ravid reported, citing two Israeli and US officials.

US and Israeli officials said Israel told the Biden administration that if arrest warrants are issued, it will consider the Palestinian Authority responsible and retaliate with strong action that could lead to its collapse.

According to the report, one possible action could be to freeze the transfer of tax revenues Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority. Without these funds, the Palestinian Authority would be bankrupt.

Ravid further reported, citing two US officials, that the Biden administration has made clear to ICC officials in private that arrest warrants against Israeli leaders would be a mistake and that the US doesn't support the action.

"We are quietly encouraging the ICC not to do it. It will blow up everything. Israel will retaliate against the Palestinian Authority," a US official told Axios.

The official added that while there is pressure on the ICC prosecutor to issue such arrest warrants, the Biden administration doesn't think the move is as imminent as the Israelis think.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked reported intentions to issue the warrants, stating: "You have to hear this to believe this. The International Criminal Court in the Hague is contemplating issuing arrest warrants against senior Israeli government and military officials as war criminals, this would be an outrage of historic proportions.

"International bodies like the ICC arose in the wake of the Holocaust committed against the Jewish people. They were set up to prevent such horrors, to prevent future genocides," he noted.

"Yet now the International Court is trying to put Israel in the dock. It's trying to put us in the dock as we defend ourselves against genocidal terrorists and regimes, Iran of course, that openly works to destroy the one and only Jewish state."