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Israel PM urges ICC to reject Palestinian bid to join

AFP , Friday 2 Jan 2015
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a victory speech in Tel Aviv after winning the Likud party primary January 1, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday urged the International Criminal Court to reject the Palestinians' request to join the ICC because they did not rank as a state.

"We expect the ICC to reject the hypocritical request by the Palestinian Authority, which is not a state but an entity linked to a terrorist organisation," he said in a statement, referring to the Islamist movement Hamas.

The statement followed talks which Netanyahu chaired at the defence ministry to discuss a response to the move which could pave the way for the Palestinians to sue Israeli officials over alleged war crimes.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who heads the PA, signed the long-mooted request on Wednesday, drawing strong condemnation from both Israel and its US ally.

The Palestinians' UN rank was upgraded from observer entity to observer state in 2012, opening the possibility for them to join the ICC and a host of other international organisations.

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