World Bulletin/News Desk
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel "will not sit idly by" as the Palestinian Authority (PA) has chosen confrontation with Israel by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"We will not allow [army] soldiers and commanders to be hauled before the International Criminal Court in the Hague," Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting on Sunday.
"It is the Palestinian Authority leaders – who have allied with the war criminals of Hamas – who must be called to account," Netanyahu said, in reference to the formation of a unity government between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.
"The soldiers…will continue to defend the state of Israel with strength and determination and just as they defend us, we will defend them with the same strength and determination," he added.
On Wednesday, Abbas signed the Rome Statute – the founding treaty of the ICC – along with 20 international agreements and organizations.
Full ICC membership would allow the PA to bring a lawsuit against Israel for war crimes.
The move came only hours after the UN Security Council rejected a Palestinian draft resolution calling for a three-year deadline for ending Israel's decades-long occupation of Palestinian land.
On Friday, Netanyahu called on the ICC to reject the Palestinian application.
FM slams EU for 'bias' towards Palestinians
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has criticized the European Union's (EU) policies towards Israel, accusing the bloc of "bias" towards the Palestinians.
"If I have to analyze all the challenges we face, I would have to say that our biggest diplomatic challenge is not the Palestinians or the Arab nations, but the West," Israel's daily Israel Hayom quoted Lieberman as saying during a meeting with Israeli envoys to the European Union on Sunday.
"The EU's attempt to link its ties to Israel to the Palestinian issue only increases the number of anti-Semitic attacks in some European countries," he added.
Liberman's criticism of the EU comes after several of the latter's countries, on more than one occasion, acted in favor of a future Palestinian state.
The European Parliament had recently voted in favor of a future Palestinian state, with 498 votes in favor, 88 opposed and 111 abstentions.
Sweden had also officially recognized a state of Palestine, while five other European Parliaments – including those of the UK, France and Ireland – symbolically recognized a Palestinian state.
"[EU countries] are making all kinds of excuses to abandon Israel, even though we are the only country in the Middle East to represent Western values," Lieberman said.
EU members France and Luxembourg have been among eight member states of the UN Security Council to vote in favor of an Arab-backed draft resolution setting a three-year deadline for Israel's withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state on territories occupied in 1967.
The draft, however, eventually failed to reach the necessary nine votes to pass. The US, Israel's traditional ally and a holder of a Security Council Veto right, was among countries who voted against the draft.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ocak 2015, 16:49