Israel called for cutting funding for the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the tribunal’s decision to probe possible Israeli war crimes during last year’s war with Hamas in Gaza.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel was trying to get various countries to stop funding the ICC, Xinhua reported.
“We will demand that our friends in Canada, Australia and Germany simply stop funding it (the ICC),” Lieberman told Israel Radio Sunday, in response to the announcement of the probe.
“This body represents no one. It is a political body,” Lieberman said, adding: “There are quite a few countries that also think there is no justification for this body’s existence.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the ICC decision “a new level of hypocrisy”.
“This decision gives legitimacy and international patronage to terror,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, criticising the international body for not probing the conduct of Hamas.
Netanyahu added that Israel would fight this probe in every possible way, while Hamas has welcomed the ICC decision.
On Friday, prosecutors from the ICC said they would conduct an independent and impartial probe into alleged war crimes committed by Israel during the Gaza war, last year, in which more than 2,100 Palestinians and 70 Israelis were killed.
The decision came after an official request to join the ICC was submitted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Since peace talks collapsed last April, Abbas and the Palestinian leaders have tried to join several international treaties in order to promote the establishment of a Palestinian state through diplomatic channels.
The ICC is an intergovernmental organisation and an international tribunal set up in 2002 to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The funding for the tribunal comes from its 122 member states. Israel and the US are not its members.