The Mavi Marmara
The Mavi Marmara Reuters

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening condemned the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reopen a case accusing Israel of "war crimes" in its handling of the May 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza.

"IDF soldiers acted in self defense while stopping an attempt to break a blockade carried out in accordance with international law as determined by the committee appointed by the UN Secretary General, a committee headed by a Supreme Court judge and international observers," Netanyahu said.

He condemned the ICC for choosing to single out Israel for cynical political reasons while Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is massacring tens of thousands of his own people, hundreds are being executed in Iran and Hamas in Gaza uses children as human shields.

"In the face of this hypocrisy our troops will continue to protect us on the ground and we will defend them in the international arena," Netanyahu stressed.

Science and Technology Minister Danny Danon blasted the decision as well, saying, “The Court in the Hague is two-faced when it does not know to distinguish between ethical and loyal fighters and terrorists. I fully back the naval fighters and commanders who acted responsibly and decisively in their mission to protect the State of Israel.”

In an unusual move, the ICC judges decided to investigate the previously closed case in which ten protesters who attacked IDF soldiers with lethal weapons were killed and Israeli troops were wounded.

The ICC called to "recheck" the decision not to investigate the IDF's naval commando Shayetet 13 storming of the Mavi Marmara, conducted after the flotilla ignored repeated demands to stand down and have Israel deliver its supposed humanitarian goods to Gaza, in defense of Israel's legal maritime blockade of Gaza.

Last year the ICC rejected a request for an official investigation by the Comoros, an island nation in Africa under whose flag several of the ships sailed.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely earlier on Thursday responded to the ICC decision, noting that the ICC "already decided that war crimes weren't committed on the Marmara."

"It is very strange to me why the court decided to open an investigation against soldiers who defended themselves against a brutal attack of terrorists that were on the Marmara," she said.

"There are Palestinian sources who are constantly trying to incite international bodies against Israel, and I hope that those bodies will know to identify the incitement and not give it a hand."

She concluded, saying, "the court at The Hague in this decision is turning into a tool of Palestinian propaganda."