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Israel's Netanyahu calls ICC decision "pure anti-semitism"

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The decision prompted swift reactions from both Israel, which is not a member of the court and rejects its jurisdiction, and the Palestinian Authority, which welcomed the ruling.

The ICC judges said their decision was based on the fact that Palestine has been granted membership to the tribunal's founding treaty, and had referred the situation to the court.

The judges said the jurisdiction decision does not imply any attempt to determine Palestinian statehood, which is uncertain, or national borders.

Netanyahu said 'ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria, who commit horrific atrocities almost daily," and added that "we will fight this perversion of justice with all our might!"

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office was studying the decision and would decide what to do next "guided strictly by its independent and impartial mandate" to prosecute grave war crimes and atrocities when countries are unable or unwilling to do so themselves.

Bensouda had found in December 2019 that "war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip."She named both the Israeli Defense Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators.

Video Transcript

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure anti-Semitism. The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people. First, it outrageously claims that when Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime. Second, it claims that when democratic Israel defend itself against terrorists who murder our children, rocket our cities, we're committing another war crime. Yet the ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria who commit horrific atrocities almost daily. As Prime Minister of Israel, I assure you, we will fight this perversion of justice with all our might.