Netanyahu: ICC decision to launch inquiry against Israel is 'absurd'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed as "absurd" on Saturday night the International Criminal Court's decision to to launch an inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories, Jpost reported.
"Israel rejects the absurd decision of the ICC prosecutor," Netanyahu said in a special statement he delivered in both Hebrew and English from his office. "It's absurd for the ICC to ignore international law and agreements, under which the Palestinians don't have a state and can only get one through direct negotiations with Israel."
The rules of the ICC were clear, Netanyahu said: "No state, no standing, no case."
The "ultimate folly" of the decision, Netanyahu said, "is that the democracy of Israel, a world leader in fighting terrorism, is to be hauled to the dock in The Hague, while the terrorist war criminals of Hamas are the ones who are going to be pressing the charges. I won't be surprised if ISIS, al-Qaida and Hezbollah follow suit. See, Hamas has already announced that they will join their Palestinian partner, President Abbas, in filing complaints against Israel as a result of this decision."
According to Netanyahu, the absurdity is compounded because Israel "upholds the highest standards of international law," and its actions are "subject to the constant and careful review of Israel's world-renowned and utterly independent legal system."
The decision is "even more preposterous," he said, "given that Israel is legitimately defending itself against Palestinian terrorists who routinely commit multiple war crimes. They deliberately fire thousands of rockets at our civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians whom they use a human shield."
Netanyahu said it was "tragic" that the "lofty goals of the ICC were being turned upside-down."
He said that the court, "founded to prevent a repeat of history's worst crimes, foremost among them the genocide of six million Jews," was now being cynically manipulated by the Palestinians "to deny the Jewish state the right to defend itself against the very war crimes and the very terror that the court was established to prevent."