Netanyahu Hails Hague Decision, Thanks Trump

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu smiles upon his arrival at the weekly cabinet meeting, Sunday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hailed the decision of the court in The Hague to reject a petition to investigate the actions of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, a ruling which favors Israel as well.

“I thank the U.S., President Trump and the Trump administration for standing firmly with the citizens of Israel and IDF soldiers,” PM Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. “Like on previous occasions, it has been proven that Israel has no better friend than the United States, and we very much appreciate the support in this field as well.”

President Trump welcomed the International Criminal Court’s decision, saying that “since the creation of the ICC, the United States has consistently declined to join the court because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers; the threat it poses to American national sovereignty; and other deficiencies that render it illegitimate.”

“Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response,” said a statement on behalf of the president issued Friday.

PM Netanyahu said further that “this blocked a move that would have upended the original goal of establishing the international court. It was mainly established after the outrages of the pogroms, genocide and other problems that arose over the years in order to deal with countries and regions that have no true legal system.

“They harass the U.S. and Israel, democracies, which by the way are not members of the international court. But, without doubt, we have one of the best legal systems in the world, which is not a given because there are very few of these. To come and put on trial U.S. or Israeli soldiers, or the State of Israel or the U.S., is absurd. It is the opposite of the original goal of the international court.

“Therefore, this corrects an injustice and will have far-reaching implications for the functioning of the international system regarding the State of Israel,” the prime minister said.

ICC prosecutors have been investigating Israeli conduct in Yehudah and Shomron, along with the conduct of its forces during the 2014 war against Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip.