Israel will not “cooperate” with the International Criminal Court in an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
“Israel has decided not to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC),” said an April 8 statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying “the ICC has no legitimacy to open an investigation” against Israel.
The court’s attorney general, Fatou Bensouda, in early March opened an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, an initiative rejected by Israel but welcomed by the Palestinians.
The Hebrew state is not a member of the ICC, unlike the Palestinian Authority.
According to the ICC system, which sits in The Hague, a state can, if it wishes, attempt to prove that it has itself opened an investigation into the crimes concerned and thus request that the Court be investigated. be referred to him. On March 19, the court gave Israel and the Palestinians a month to request a postponement of the investigation.
Also according to the statement, “Prime Minister Netanyahu said that while IDF soldiers [l’armée israélienne] fight […] terrorists who commit war crimes, the court in The Hague has decided to condemn Israel ”.
Benjamin Netanyahu held several meetings with senior security and political officials to decide the Israeli reaction to the opening of this investigation, the statement said.
This investigation should particularly focus on the large-scale offensive launched by Israel against the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, with the aim, according to the Jewish state, to put an end to rocket fire and destroy the tunnels dug from the Palestinian enclave under Israeli blockade since 2006.
The war left some 2,250 dead on the Palestinian side, mostly civilians, and 74 dead, mostly soldiers, on the Israeli side.
The ICC “took a decision which is the very essence of anti-Semitism and hypocrisy”, reacted Benjamin Netanyahu after the opening of the investigation, adding that his country “was taking all precautions to minimize losses civilians ”in its fight against“ terrorism ”.
“An institution founded to defend human rights protects those who trample on them,” the Israeli Prime Minister said in the same press release dated April 8.
The ICC, the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, was created in 2002 to try the world’s worst crimes when local courts are unwilling or unable to intervene.