Report: U.S. Sees ‘Eye to Eye’ With Israel on ICC Ruling

YERUSHALAYIM -
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan spoke with officials in the Biden administration to find out where the administration stands on the matter of the International Criminal Court’s recent ruling about Israel, Army Radio reported Sunday.

Officials aware of the details of the conversations told Army Radio that the American officials made clear that they see “eye to eye” with Israel on the matter. Similarly, Israel feels that the U.S. has a deep understanding of Israel’s concerns.

Army Radio reported that “we are likely to see concrete steps against this decision.”

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday authorized a probe into alleged Israeli war crimes in Palestinian Authority territories.

In a press release, the ICC said that the judges ruled that “the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, a State party to the ICC Rome Statute, extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”

The ruling, delivered by a pre-trial chamber of three ICC judges, could lead to criminal investigations of Israel and Palestinian militant groups including Hamas. No probe was expected in the near future, however.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she would now examine the decision and pointed to the 2014 Gaza war between Israel and terror groups in Hamas-controlled Gaza, the 2018 Gaza border protests and Israeli communities.

On the Israeli side of the border, Israeli Gadi Yarkoni, who lost both his legs in a Palestinian mortar bomb attack during the same war, said he was angered by the ruling.

“We are the good guys here, we don’t fire in order to kill innocent children but they fire at us in order to kill civilians,” said Yarkoni, who is the head of the Eshkol Regional Council, bordering Gaza. “I weep for every civilian killed in Gaza and the West Bank but we are defending our borders.”

An Israeli official who requested anonymity said “it’s not like arrest warrants are going to be issued tomorrow morning,” adding that Israel would coordinate steps with Washington over the court’s ruling.

The official described the ruling as political.