Avichai Mandelblit
Avichai MandelblitFlash 90

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Wednesday reiterated his position that the International Criminal Court does not have any authority to decide to open a war crimes investigation against Israel.

"This position has been supported by key countries and renowned legal experts, but the judges in their ruling as well as the Chief Prosecutor in her statement today chose to ignore many of the weighty legal allegations raised in this regard," he said in a statement which came after the ICC announced it would probe alleged Israeli “war crimes” in territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

"The decision of the panel of judges, as well as the Chief Prosecutor’s statement, acknowledge that issues of principle concerning the jurisdiction of the tribunal remain undecided. This matter in itself shows how wrong the decision to proceed with the investigation in relation to Israel is and how it lacks the solid legal basis required, in the prosecutor’s own view, in order to proceed in this matter."

Mandelblit noted that "the State of Israel is a strong democracy with an independent and professional legal system. The State of Israel is committed to the fundamental values ​​of international law and acts in light of them. Moreover, Israel has a comprehensive system for examining allegations of alleged violations of international law, and it knows how to independently examine allegations of violations. For this reason, too, there is no room for the court to intervene in matters related to the sovereign authority of the State of Israel."

He added that "the International Criminal Court was set up to deal with serious violations of international law. The Chief Prosecutor’s choice to open an investigation against the State of Israel, a democratic state that maintains the law, undermines the legitimacy of the court’s work and causes unnecessary allocation of resources instead of addressing real violations of international law by undemocratic states that are not committed to the rule of law."

The Ministry of Justice stated that "the Attorney General, together with a dedicated inter-ministerial team, has been closely monitoring developments related to the court for a long time and is prepared to deal with all possible developments. They will continue to assist the Israeli government in providing comprehensive legal protection and assistance, as required, in the face of any threat to the citizens of the country that will arise from the International Criminal Court."