Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni
Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi LivniFlash 90

MKs Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, who head the joint Labor-Hatnua list for the March elections, on Wednesday evening joined a slew of politicians who condemned the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) decision to turn to the International Criminal Court (ICC) after its defeat in the United Nations.

Herzog and Livni’s headquarters said that joining the ICC “will not achieve the Palestinians’ goals”.

"We will protect IDF soldiers and officers and provide them with a political and legal bullet-proof vest,” they added.

Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid also strongly condemned the decision, saying it was a "big mistake."

"Abbas made a big mistake: the ones committing war crimes are the Palestinians and their terrorist organizations, whose only purpose is to murder innocent civilians," Lapid said. "The IDF is the most moral army in the world and its soldiers and commanders do everything to avoid harming innocent civilians."

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute on Wednesday, which would enable the PA to file lawsuits against Israel at the ICC.

Along with the Rome Statute, Abbas signed applications to join 20 other international conventions during a meeting broadcast live on PA television.

The PA has hoped that ICC membership will pave the way for "war crimes" prosecutions against Israeli officials for their presence in Jewish areas of Judea and Samaria.

The move came a day after the PA’s attempt to impose a Palestinian state on Israel through the United Nations Security Council failed, when only eight member countries voted in favor of the resolution, one short of the required number of votes to pass.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to Abbas’s turning to the ICC by saying that Israel has little to fear from the PA signing the Rome Statute and that the PA has everything to lose.

"The one who should fear the International Criminal Court at the Hague is the Palestinian Authority, which is in a unity government with Hamas, a declared terrorist organization like ISIS that commits war crimes," Netanyahu stated.

"We will take steps in response and we will defend the soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world," he continued. "We will repel this latest effort to force diktats on us, just as we have repelled the Palestinian turn to the UN Security Council."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman harshly criticized Abbas over the move, noting that any "deaf, blind, and dumb" judge in a criminal court would find the PA - not Israel - guilty of war crimes.

"Abbas can sign any treaty that he wants - the only ones who commit war crimes in the conflict here are the Palestinians themselves, who are responsible for murderous rampages against babies, children, women and men, without distinction, for a hundred years," Liberman fired. "This is something a deaf, blind, and dumb judge would know."

"Abbas doesn't threaten us - Israel has the most moral army in the world!" he added.