Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday that Israel will express to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it does not recognize the authority of the tribunal, which is supposed to investigate possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories.
The announcement came after Netanyahu’s meeting with senior ministers and government officials before the Friday deadline to answer to an ICC report, which held that Israel would not liaise with the inquiry, but it will send a rejoinder.
“It will be made clear that Israel is a country with rule of law that knows how to investigate itself,” he said in a statement. The response will also say Israel “completely rejects” the proclamation that it was carrying out any war crimes.
ICC prosecutors, who underlined factions on both the Israeli and Palestinian wings as probable culprits as per the letters sent on March 9 to all parties of the conflict, giving them an ultimatum to inform the court if they were conducting their own investigations of the asserted crimes and want an ICC inquiry deferred at the same time.
The Palestinians stated that they would collaborate with the ICC, whose inquest affects contended war crimes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.
“We sent the response to the ICC,” mentioned Omar Awadallah, a senior official in the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.
“Full cooperation with the ICC will continue from the State of Palestine as a member state of the court, to achieve justice for the victims of the Palestinian people and hold Israel accountable for its crimes,” Awadallah said.
On Wednesday, in a speech marking Israeli commemorations of the Holocaust, Netanyahu defined the ICC inquiry as an “absurdity”.
“The founding of the court in The Hague was inspired by the Nuremberg tribunal, which tried Nazi war criminals after World War Two,” he said. “But a body set up to defend human rights became a body that, effectively, protects those who trample on human rights.”