“Today, the International Criminal Court has proven once more that it is a political body and not a judicial institution,” Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said after Friday’s ruling.
Netanyahu accused the court of “ignoring the real war crimes and instead is pursuing Israel, a country with a strong democratic regime, that sanctifies the rule of law.” He also said the decision “impairs the right of democratic countries” to defend themselves.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry hailed the ICC’s decision as a “historic day for the principle of accountability” and said that it was ready to cooperate with the court, while PM Mohammad Shtayyeh welcomed the ruling as a “victory for justice.”
Friday’s ruling comes after the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, asked the court to rule on its territorial jurisdiction as regards Palestine. “There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” Bensouda said back in 2019.