Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the ICC’s investigation of Israel for alleged war crimes against the Palestinians, particularly during Operation Protective Edge, is hypocritical and absurd, according to Israel HaYom. Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting, “The decision by the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (Fatou Bensouda) to begin an inquiry against the State of Israel is at the height of hypocrisy and the opposite of justice.” He referred to his years as Israeli ambassador at the UN and as Prime Minster, and while he felt he had seen injustices before, “this decision by the prosecutor is in a category of its own. It gives legitimacy to international terrorism.”
Netanyahu immediately sent a letter to Western leaders. After making reference to the Holocaust, Netanyahu argued that the investigation into war crimes might not even be valid, because Palestine is not officially a state, and may not have the right to prosecute at the ICC.
Netanyahu argued that Israel’s military shows restraint and its actions are “subject to the constant and careful review of Israel’s world-renowned and utterly independent legal system.” He decried the fact that Israel was being prosecuted for “legitimately defending itself against Palestinian terrorists who routinely commit multiple war crimes.”
“And here’s the ultimate folly of this decision—it is the democracy of Israel, a wold leader in fighting terrorism, which is to be hauled to the dock in the Hague, while terrorist war criminals of Hamas are the ones who are going to be pressing charges. I won’t be surprised if ISIS, Al-Qaida and Hezbollah follow suit.”
U.S. State Department spokesman, Jeff Rathke said, “We strongly disagree with the ICC prosecutor’s action l… it is a tragic irony in Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC.”