Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday attacked the International Criminal Court (ICC) for ruling it has jurisdiction to open an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes, calling this “pure anti-Semitism”, Israeli media reported.
“When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure anti-Semitism,” Netanyahu said in a video.
“The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people.”
He added: “When Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime,” referring to the ICC’s possible investigation into illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
“It claims that when democratic Israel defends itself against terrorists who murder our children, rocket our cities, we’re committing another war crime,” he said, ignoring the reports issued by Israeli rights groups which state that the Israeli army carries out daily violations against Palestinians.
“Today the ICC proved once again that it is a political body and not a judicial institution,” he charged. “The ICC ignores the real war crimes and instead pursues the State of Israel, a state with a strong democratic government that sanctifies the rule of law.”
He pledged: “We will continue to protect our citizens and soldiers in every way from legal persecution.”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Friday that it has jurisdiction over crimes committed in the Palestinian territories.
Based on the relevant UN resolution, the ICC found that the Court has territorial jurisdiction in Gaza City and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, have been under Israeli occupation since 1967. The occupation is considered illegal under international law.