JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is asking the world to take "concrete action" against the International Criminal Court before a possible case of war crimes against Israel.
The ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said last month that there was a "reasonable basis" for opening an investigation into war crimes in Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip, as well as in building Israeli settlements in the West Bank. She asked the court to determine whether she has territorial jurisdiction before proceeding with the case.
Israel, which is not a member of the ICC, said the court had no jurisdiction and accused Bensouda of being moved by anti-Semitism.
In an interview with Christian network TBN, which will air on Tuesday, Netanyahu praised President Donald Trump for criticizing the ICC and urged others to follow suit.
"I think everyone should object to that," he said, according to excerpts released by his office. "I ask all of your viewers to do the same and to ask for concrete actions, sanctions against the international court, its officials, its prosecutors, everyone."
"They are basically in a total frontal attack on democracies, both the right of democracies to defend themselves and the right of Israel, the right of the Jewish people to live in their ancestral homeland, the Land of Israel," he said.
There was no immediate reaction from Bensouda. But in a recent interview, she told the Israeli news website Times of Israel that accusing her of anti-Semitism was "particularly regrettable" and "without merit".
The TBN interview took place before a meeting in Jerusalem on Thursday, where dozens of world leaders celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Auschwitz death camp and speak out against anti-Semitism.
Netanyahu is expected to use the meeting to try to gather international opposition to the ICC case against Israel.
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