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Netanyahu to use Holocaust memorial event to lambast ICC

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestuers supporters after speaking at a Likud Party gathering on 17 November 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on 17 November 2019 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will "take advantage of a gathering of dozens of world leaders in Jerusalem for a Holocaust memorial Thursday" to urge them to back Israel's efforts at thwarting the International Criminal's investigation of alleged war crimes, reported Haaretz.

Citing sources "familiar with Netanyahu's preparations for his meetings with foreign leaders", the paper said that the premier intends to discuss the announcement last December by the ICC's chief prosecutor that there is enough evidence of war crimes to proceed with a formal investigation.

According to Haaretz, Netanyahu will ask leaders – including US Vice President Mike Pence, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron – to publish "official statements that will back the Israeli claim that the court in The Hague has no jurisdiction in Palestinian territories".

READ: ICC chief prosecutor dismisses anti-Semitism allegation

The paper added that Israel has been struggling to convince world leaders to express support for its stance, despite Netanyahu having "contacted several world leaders".

The Trump administration, Hungarian government, and Australia have been the only explicit opponents of the ICC decision, with the US attacking what it called "an unjustified investigation".

Germany, meanwhile, issued a reserved statement stressing questions of admissibility, while Canada affirmed "there is no Palestinian state" and said it would be "following" the ICC's examination.

However, Haaretz reported, "apart from these countries, others have not responded to Netanyahu's request for public support. He hopes that this week's visits might help him to bring them on board".

"Israel hopes to have as many ICC member countries as possible apply pressure that would prevent the court from intervening in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which it claims would politicize the international institution", the paper added.

READ: More war crimes are Israel's plan for the immediate future

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