Australia bashes ICC for ‘war crimes’ probe against Israel: We don’t recognize ‘State of Palestine’

Scott Morrison voiced his displeasure at the ICC decision to investigate Israel.

By World Israel News Staff

Australia joined the U.S. in opposing the decision of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor to investigate Israel for war crimes. On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed his disapproval of the ICC’s move.

Morrison said that Australia doesn’t recognize a “State of Palestine,” the term used by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in her Friday ruling to describe the Palestinian Authority. Morrison said his country also doesn’t recognize the Palestinian Authority’s status as a member state of the ICC.

Morrison was replying to a letter sent to a number of leaders by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the ICC decision.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement, “Australia is concerned by the ICC Prosecutor’s proposal to consider the situation in the Palestinian Territories, subject to a ruling by the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the matter.”

“We consider that the question of territory and borders can be resolved only through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.  This is the only way to ensure a durable and resilient peace,” it said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz tweeted: “Many thanks to the Australian government for taking the unequivocal and principled stance against the ICC prosecutor’s decision.

“I urge other countries to take a similar stance and not allow the court to turn into a political weapon against Israel,” Katz said.

In Dec. 2018, Australia recognized western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but said it would only move its embassy there after an agreement was reached between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Israel Foreign Minstry said it was “a step in the right direction” at the time.