Boris Johnson has said the investigation into Israel by the International Criminal Court “gives the impression of being a prejudicial attack” on the Jewish state.
The prime minister broke his silence on the probe in a letter to Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a month after the ICC prosecutor announced it would launch a probe into whether war crimes were committed by Israel and Hamas in the territories since the 2014 war.
Last week, Jerusalem denied any suggestions of war crimes but insisted the ICC had no jurisdiction to investigate alleged crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
Now, in a letter to CFI after it raised the issue with Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Johnson agreed in unequivocal terms. While saying the UK had long supported the ICC as one of its founders, he wrote: “We oppose the ICC’s investigation into war crimes in Palestine.
“We do not accept that the ICC has jurisdiction in this instance, given that Israel is not a party to the Statute of Rome and Palestine is not a sovereign state”.
He added: “This investigation gives the impression of being a partial and prejudicial attack on a friend and ally of the UK’s.”CFI’s Parliamentary Chairmen Stephen Crabb MP and Lord Pickles and CFI Honorary President Lord Polak said: “We strongly welcome the Prime Minister’s confirmation of the UK’s opposition to the ICC’s controversial investigation. The investigation has rightly been condemned for giving ‘the impression of being a partial and prejudicial attack on a friend and ally’.”
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