The Palestinian Authority is not a state, but rather an entity in an alliance with a terrorist organization, and for that reason its appeal to the International Court of Justice should be rejected out of hand, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday.
Netanyahu's comment came at the end of an inter-ministerial meeting he convened in Tel Aviv to discuss ways to combat the Palestinian Authority's signing of the Rome Statute and its intention of bringing Israel to the court on war crimes charges.“We expect the International Criminal Court to completely reject the hypocritical appeal by the Palestinian Authority, because the Palestinian Authority is not a state. It is is an entity in an alliance with a terrorist organization, Hamas, that commits war crimes,” he said.
Israel, Netanyahu said, is by contrast a “law abiding state with a moral army that upholds international law.” Israel, Netanyahu promised, would defend the IDF's soldiers “just as they defend us.”
While Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz were at the meeting, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was not, reflecting the tension between Netanyahu and Liberman heading up tot he elections.
In recent weeks Liberman has been harshly critical of Netanyahu, especially his performance during Operation Protective Edge this summer.
Foreign Ministry officials close to Liberman said that Netanyahu's failure to invite Liberman to a meeting on how to deal with the latest PA challenge shows that the prime minister was not truly interested in providing a solution to the problem, and only wanted to hear from “yes-men” who would agree with his positions.
It is a shame, the officials said, that “political interests” will harm critical diplomatic work. The Foreign Ministry's director-general, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, did attend the meeting.