International Criminal Court at The Hague
International Criminal Court at The HagueiStock

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Saturday responded to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to investigate Israel for alleged "war crimes" in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza.

In a statement, Mandelblit wrote: "Yesterday (05.02.2021), Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision regarding the scope of the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction over issues pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

"As previously published, the Attorney General’s position is that the ICC lacks any jurisdiction on this matter given, among other reasons, that no sovereign Palestinian state exists nor does any territory belonging to such an entity; and moreover, that the Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction over Israeli citizens (for more information, see the Memorandum of the Attorney General dated 20.12.2019).

"This legal position has garnered the support of leading nations and world-renowned legal experts, yet the Court’s majority opinion disregarded many of the substantial legal arguments made in this context.

"The State of Israel is a law-abiding democracy with an independent legal system. Israel is committed to the fundamental values of international law, and is fully capable of examining alleged violations of the law on its own. For this reason as well, there is absolutely no place for the ICC’s intervention in matters that are under the jurisdiction of the State of Israel.

"The relevant political and legal authorities in Israel have been closely following for some time the attempts to draw the ICC into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and are fully prepared to deal with any possible developments in the ICC arena. The Attorney General and his team will continue to assist the Israeli Government and Israel’s citizens in addressing any situation arising out of the ICC."

Best Regards,
Noam Sharvit, Adv.
Acting Head of the Spokesperson Department
Ministry of Justice