Australian PM: ICC has no authority to discuss PA issue

Australian Prime Minister tells Netanyahu his country does not recognize the "State of Palestine" or its status as member state of the ICC.

Elad Benari ,

Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that his country does not recognize the "State of Palestine" or its status as a member state of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and therefore believes that the Tribunal has no authority on the matter, Yediot Aharonot reported.

Morrison added, according to the report, that the question of borders and territory can only be determined in negotiations between Palestinian Arabs and Israel.

The Australian Prime Minister was replying to a letter sent by Netanyahu over the weekend to several leaders regarding the decision by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, to probe Israel for alleged “war crimes”.

Bensouda announced last Friday she wants to open a full investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes” in Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled territories.

She added that before opening a full probe, she would ask the ICC to rule on the territory over which it has jurisdiction because of the "unique and highly contested legal and factual issues attaching to this situation."

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 PA, which joined the court in 2015 and has since filed a series of legal complaints with it against Israel.

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