Israeli politicians and media seemed to ignore an announcement April 30 by prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, maintaining that she still has the authority to investigate Israel Defense Forces (IDF) war crimes in Palestinian territories. Her statement looks like it slipped completely under their radar.
Under normal circumstances, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not miss a chance to attack the ICC and its prosecutor in the harshest possible terms, even claiming that it was motivated by anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian sentiments. This time, however, he ignored the new development. In all of his dynamic statements over the last few days, especially on social media, he focused instead on Israel’s successful efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Inevitably, he also brought up the slew of congratulations he received in honor of Israel’s Independence Day. The one thing that was conspicuously absent was any mention of Bensouda’s announcement.