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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: AP
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu calls ICC war-crimes decision 'outrageous', vows to fight it everywhere

Speaking to FOX News, PM echoes previous statements following announcement by the Hague it will formally investigate alleged war crimes perpetrated by Israel in the Palestinian territories

Reuters, Ynet |
Published: 03.04.21 , 16:56
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned as "outrageous" on Thursday a decision by the International Criminal Court prosecutor to formally investigate alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories.
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  • "I am going to fight this in every place," he told Fox News.
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    בנימין נתניהו
    בנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: AP)
    On Wednesday, the premier said the decision was the essence of "hypocrisy and anti-Semitism."
    "The State of Israel is under attack tonight," he said. "The biased court in The Hague has made a decision that is the essence of anti-Semitism and hypocrisy. It has ruled that our heroic and moral soldiers, who fight against the cruelest terrorists on Earth, are actually war criminals."
    "The tribunal set up to prevent the recurrence of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jewish people is now turning against the state of the Jewish people. Of course, it is not saying a word against Iran, Syria and other dictatorships that are committing true war crimes," he said.
    "The court is already biased against the State of Israel. There is only one thing we can do and that is fight for the truth in every nation, on every stage and in every forum. [We will] protect every soldier, every commander and citizen. And I promise you this: we will fight for the truth until this scandalous decision is overturned."
    The ICC decision announced earlier Wednesday came after the court ruled on Feb. 5 that it has jurisdiction in the case, a move that prompted swift rejection from Washington and Jerusalem.
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    The International Criminal Court in the Hague
    The International Criminal Court in the Hague
    The International Criminal Court in the Hague
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    "The decision to open an investigation followed a painstaking preliminary examination undertaken by my office that lasted close to five years," chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement.
    "In the end, our central concern must be for the victims of crimes, both Palestinian and Israeli, arising from the long cycle of violence and insecurity that has caused deep suffering and despair on all sides," Bensouda said.
    "My office will take the same principled, non-partisan, approach that it has adopted in all situations over which its jurisdiction is seized."
    The decision was widely condemned by right-wing politicians and organizations in Israel.
    The Palestinian Authority welcomed the decision, saying it is "a long-awaited step that serves Palestine's tireless pursuit of justice and accountability, which are indispensable pillars of the peace the Palestinian people seek and deserve."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and President Mahmoud Abbas attend the funeral of former senior Fatah official Ahmed Abdel Rahman, in Ramallah
    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and President Mahmoud Abbas attend the funeral of former senior Fatah official Ahmed Abdel Rahman, in Ramallah
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh attend the funeral of former senior Fatah official Ahmed Abdel Rahman in Ramallah
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The United States reaffirmed its opposition to the launch of the investigation, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday.
    "We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly, the ICC ... has no jurisdiction over this matter," U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price Price told a regular news briefing, referring to the prosecutor's announcement earlier Wednesday.
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