Hungary backs Israel on ICC probe

Hungarian Foreign Minister tells Israeli counterpart that Hungary believes ICC does not have jurisdiction to investigate Israel.

Tags: Hungary ICC
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

PM Netanyahu and Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó
PM Netanyahu and Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó
Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz received a letter from Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó regarding the decision of the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel for alleged “war crimes” against Palestinian Arabs.

In his letter, the Hungarian Foreign Minister stressed to his Israeli counterpart that the ICC does not have jurisdiction to discuss a case against Israel, and that Hungary shares Israel's concerns about the court's politicization and violation of state sovereignty by the ICC.

Katz expressed his gratitude and appreciation for Hungary's position which is in line with the values of justice and the excellent relations between the countries.

He thanked the Israeli diplomats who are fighting the ICC prosecutor's decision and instructed them to continue the battle against this decision.

The chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced last month 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.

Like the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison came out against the prosecutor’s decision, telling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 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.

Meanwhile, Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders called on his country to expel Bensouda following the decision to investigate Israel.

“The International Criminal Court has no authority at all here and behaves as a biased pro-Palestinian institution and an antisemitic kangaroo court,” he tweeted.