December 22, 2019
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, criticized the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor's decision to open a full investigation into alleged Israeli "war crimes" in Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled territories.
"The prosecutor's decision in the International Criminal Court reflects the anti-Israeli tendency rooted in The Hague; the institution is becoming nothing more than another partisan political tool to wield against the Jewish State. This decision exposes the ICC's desire to follow political considerations, not legal ones; Israel has legal and historical rights in the Land of Israel, which no court can change," said Danon.
"This only serves to reward the Palestinian campaign to curry international favor instead of negotiating directly with Israel. It will not advance the cause of peace, but, instead, undermines the very institutions that are designed to promote international peace and security," he added.
The prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said earlier on Friday that she is "satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine."
Bensouda urged judges to rule on the court's jurisdiction "without undue delay".
The prosecutor added however that she did not require any authorization from judges to open a probe as there had been a referral from the Palestinian Authority, which joined the court in 2015 and has since filed a series of legal complaints with it against Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to the decision and said it made the Hague-based court, which Israel has refused to sign up to since its creation in 2002, a "political tool" against the Jewish state.
"This is a dark day for truth and justice. The ICC prosecutor has decided not to dismiss outright the Palestinian claim against the State of Israel. It is a baseless and outrageous decision," he said.