IDF chief: ICC out of touch with nature of modern terrorism

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi slams the International Criminal Court for living in the “old world,” unaware of the reality of modern terrorism.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The commander of the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday slammed the International Criminal Court’s investigation into so-called Israeli “war crimes,” accusing the judges in the Hague of being out of touch with the reality of what was transpiring in the Middle East.

“Anyone who decides to open an investigation against IDF soldiers is cut off and violates the principle of human rights in whose name he made the decision,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said at a ceremony for the installation of the new head of the IDF’s southern command.

“In The Hague, an old world, in the Middle East, a new field of terror that demonstrates the abyss between us and the judges of the tribunal,” Kochavi said.

“IDF values ​​and international law are not only meant to prevent harm to bystanders on the other side, but they are equally intended to enable us to protect our citizens,” Kochavi noted, telling those under his command that he stood behind them in the face of the allegations by the Palestinians.

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The ICC announced earlier this month it was opening an investigation against Israel and sent official notice to Jerusalem on March 9, Channel 12 reported. According to the rules of the Treaty of Rome that established the ICC, Israel can reply to the letter, if it chooses, by April 9.

One of the alleged “war crimes” about which Israel is to be investigated is the construction of housing in Judea and Samaria as well as the eastern half of Jerusalem.

Officials of Israel’s National Security Council formulated recommendations for dealing with the investigation and how to respond to the letter, including slowing down building in Judea and Samaria and not evacuating an illegal Bedouin encampment, Khan al Ahmar.

If negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were given an opportunity to resume, that would ostensibly give the next prosecutor in the court, Karim Khan, who will take office in June, an opportunity to dissolve the investigation, Channel 12 noted.

Khan is due to take over the case from Fatou Bensouda, who steps down in a few months at the end of her term. Bensouda’s decision to pursue an investigation against Israel came despite legal objections from a senior judge at the ICC who ruled that under international law the Palestinians do not have standing and the case should not have been heard.