Netanyahu thanks Pompeo

Netanyahu speaks with US Secretary of State and thanks him for standing alongside Israel in the wake of ICC prosecutor's decision.

Elad Benari ,

Netanyahu and Pompeo
Netanyahu and Pompeo
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday evening spoke by telephone with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and thanked him for standing alongside Israel, the truth and justice in the face of the decision by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor to investigate Israel for alleged “war crimes”.

Pompeo condemned the prosecutor’s decision and tweeted last Friday, “Today, the ICC prosecutor raised serious questions about the ICC’s jurisdiction to investigate Israel. Israel is not a state party to the ICC. We firmly oppose this unjustified inquiry that unfairly targets Israel. The path to lasting peace is through direct negotiations.”

The prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said on Friday she is “satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine” and urged judges to rule on the court's jurisdiction "without undue delay".

Bensouda 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.

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu again denounced the prosecutor’s decision to investigate Israel and described it as “pure anti-Semitism”.

"The claim of the International Criminal Court that Jews have no right to live in the homeland of the Jewish People is pure anti-Semitism. So is the claim that Jews do not have the right to defend themselves against those who seek their destruction," Netanyahu said.

"As we celebrate Hanukkah, the International Criminal Court issues decrees that are just as anti-Semitic as those of the Seleucid Empire against the Maccabees. We won then, and we will win now," he added.