(JNS.org) At the end of a meeting at his Tel Aviv office on Thursday regarding the Palestinian Authority’s accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expects the ICC to reject the “hypocritical” Palestinian bid to become the court’s 123rd member.
“We expect the International Criminal Court to reject outright the Palestinian Authority’s hypocritical act because the Palestinian Authority is not a state,” Netanyahu said. “It is an entity in alliance with a terrorist organization, Hamas, which perpetrates war crimes. The State of Israel is a nation of laws with a moral army that upholds international law. We will defend the soldiers of the IDF just as they defend us.”
The Palestinian Authority’s signing of the Rome Statute in order to join the ICC came just a day after the United Nations Security Council’s rejection of a Palestinian resolution that called for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank by 2017 and the establishment of a Palestinian state with borders based on the pre-1967 lines.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has long promised to join the ICC as a way to put pressure on Israel, opening up the possibility that Israel could be tried for war crimes. But by joining the ICC, the Palestinians also open themselves to war crimes probes as well as possible repercussions such as sanctions by the U.S., which opposes Palestinian unilateralism.