Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz on Friday denounced the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor’s decision to open a full investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes” in Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled territories.

“The decision of the chief prosecutor in the International Criminal Court is grave, outrageous and contrary to international law. It is inconceivable that the chief prosecutor takes jurisdiction for herself and for the court in contravention of the law and bends international law to suit Palestinian propaganda,” said Katz.

“We reject this decision and call on other states to do so as well, and to stop the court from becoming a political tool in the hands of the Palestinians in their fight against the existence of the State of Israel and its right to self-defense,” he added.

MK Ayelet Shaked (New Right) denounced the decision as well and wrote on Twitter, “The decision of the International Criminal Court in The Hague to open an investigation against Israel is a political, hypocritical and predictable decision, unfortunately. It has no authority to do so and Israel must fight it with all the tools at its disposal.”

MK Yair Lapid (Blue and White) wrote, “The announcement of the chief prosecutor in The Hague is a surrender to the lying and hateful propaganda of Palestinian terror. As someone who was a member of the cabinet and a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, I can attest to the fact that in the entire history of war, there was no army that did more than the IDF to avoid harming innocent people.”

“Israel has 120 days to fight against the relevant parties so that no investigation can be opened. This requires a committed prime minister, a functioning government, a foreign ministry that is a well-oiled elite unit – all the things that Israel currently does not have. That's exactly what we come to change. A government that works for citizens and for the state,” he added.

Meanwhile, MK Zvi Hauser (Blue and White) who served as Cabinet Secretary between 2009 and 2013, tweeted, “This is the story behind today's failure in The Hague: In April 2015, Netanyahu chose to hold back and not put real pressure on Abbas and the PA to refrain from joining the International Criminal Court. They promised that it would be ‘okay’ and the ‘containment’ policy was then adopted with complacency. Today we start eating the rotten fruit of the historical failure in 2015. Bibi, take responsibility.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to the decision earlier on Friday and said it made the Hague-based court, which Israel has refused to sign up to since its creation in 2002, a "political tool" against the Jewish state.

"This is a dark day for truth and justice. The ICC prosecutor has decided not to dismiss outright the Palestinian claim against the State of Israel. It is a baseless and outrageous decision,” he said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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