Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed the International Criminal Court for opening a war crimes investigation into his country’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank, accusing the court of “hypocrisy.”
Speaking to ministers on Sunday, Netanyahu declared that the ICC has “finally become a weapon in the political war against Israel,” Ynet news reported. “Who are they accusing here? Iran? Turkey? Syria? No – Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. This is terrible hypocrisy,” he said.
Two days earlier, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced she would open a probe into accusations of war crimes against Israel. Earlier this year, a UN commission concluded that Israeli troops may have committed “war crimes or crimes against humanity” during their heavy-handed policing of the ‘Great March of Return’ protests at the Gaza/Israel border last year. However, the current case against Israel has been building since 2015, and accuses the Jewish state of crimes ranging from the killing of protesters to the demolition of Palestinian homes.
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Israeli officials have claimed that the ICC has no jurisdiction to investigate crimes on Palestinian land, as Palestine is not a sovereign state. The matter is complicated further by the fact that the Palestinian Authority is a member of the ICC, while Israel is not.
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