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Netanyahu accuses ICC of anti-Semitism

Israel's prime minister lashed out at the International Criminal Court after it ruled that its jurisdiction includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip, pointing out that the court was created in part to protect the Jewish people.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at the 5th Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism conference at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, on May 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA        (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

On Feb. 5, the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that its jurisdiction extends to "the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.’" Thus, the court opened the door for Palestinians to submit complaints over war crimes allegedly committed by Israel and prosecutors could now investigate alleged war crimes during the 2014 Gaza war and the construction by Israel of West Bank Jewish settlements.

The ICC ruling stirred much anger in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the court of prejudice, tweeting, "When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes — this is pure anti-Semitism. The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people." He went on, "First, the ICC outrageously claims that when Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime. Second, it claims that when democratic Israel defends itself against terrorists who murder our children and rocket [sic] our cities — we are committing another war crime," and added, "Yet the ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria, who commit horrific atrocities almost daily."

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