President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has signed papers to join the International Criminal Court, a move that could lead to the prosecution of Israeli officials for war crimes.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene an urgent meeting in his office Thursday to weigh different responses to the Palestinian decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and file complaints against Israel.
Netanyahu, in his initial reaction to the move, said the Palestinian Authority, which is in a unity government with Hamas, should be more concerned about the ICC than Israel. Netanyahu said that Israel would respond – though he did not give any indication of how it would do so – and would defend the soldiers of the IDF, which he called “the most moral soldiers in the world.”
By contrast, Netanyahu said Hamas was an avowed terrorist organization that – like Islamic State – commits war crimes. “We will rebuff this additional effort to impose a diktat on us, just as we rebuffed Palestinian efforts in the UN Security Council,” he said.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was more blunt in his response, saying that even a “deaf, blind and mute judge” knows that the Palestinians are responsible for the “indiscriminate murder of men, women, children and babies for the last 100 years.”
Abbas can sign onto all the treaties he wants to, Liberman said in a Facebook post, “the only ones committing war crimes in this conflict are the Palestinians themselves.”
Abbas, he wrote, “should not threaten us, the country with the most moral army in the world.”
Economy Minister and Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett said of Abbas that he who has “terrorism spread on his head should not go out into the sunshine.”
Abbas, Bennett said, is “one of the great inciters of terrorism, and a veteran Holocaust denier, that should come to the court only as a defendant.”