Netanyahu Vows to Fight ‘Anti-Semitic’ ICC Ruling

The International Criminal Court building in The Hague, Netherlands. (Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu angrily rejected an International Criminal Court’s ruling that paves the way for a war crimes probe stemming from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, denouncing it as “pure anti-Semitism.”

“When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes – this is pure anti-Semitism,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the state of the Jewish people.

“First, it outrageously claims that when Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime.

“Second, it claims that when democratic Israel defends itself against terrorists who murder our children and rocket our cities – we are committing another war crime.

“Yet the ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria, who commit horrific atrocities almost daily.

“As Prime Minister of Israel, I can assure you this: We will fight this perversion of justice with all our might!”

On Friday, the ICC ruled that it has jurisdiction over the situation in the Palestinian Authority territories, paving the way for the tribunal to open a war crimes investigation.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had asked the court for its legal opinion on whether its reach extended to areas international law considers “occupied” by Israel, after announcing in December 2019 that she wanted to start a full probe.

Following a two to one ruling, the ICC said it “decided, by majority, that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine… extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem.”

Palestine is a state party to the court, having joined in 2015, but Israel is not a member.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh praised the ICC ruling as “a victory for justice and humanity, for the values of truth, fairness and freedom, and for the blood of the victims and their families.”

The terror organization Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and has fought three wars against Israel, said “the most important step… is to bring the Zionist criminals of war before international courts and hold them responsible.”

The U.S. State Department said it has “serious concerns” about the ICC ruling, adding that Israel should not be bound by the court as it was not a member.

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