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WASHINGTON — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked US lawmakers Wednesday to help fend off Palestinian claims that his country engaged in “war crimes” while defending itself against attacks from Gaza, one top lawmaker told The Post.
The Israeli leader later told international reporters that his country employed “extraordinary measures” to avoid civilian deaths in the nearly month-long conflict.
As a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas held for a third day, Netanyahu met with a group of US legislators, including Rep. Steve Israel (D-L.I.,) to discuss the country’s tense security situation and some fissures in US-Israel relations.
Netanyahu asked the delegation to help Israel stay out of the International Criminal Court, where its attacks on Gaza could come under scrutiny — even while responding to Hamas rockets fired at Israeli urban centers.
Palestinian leaders are getting ready to join the ICC, and met with officials in the Hague recently to discuss the implications of joining.
“The prime minister asked us to work together to ensure that this strategy of going to the ICC does not succeed,” Rep. Israel told the Post by phone from Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu “wants the US to use all the tools that we have at our disposal to, number one, make sure the world knows that war crimes were not committed by Israel, they were committed by Hamas. And that Israel should not be held do a double standard,” the congressman said.
Modal TriggerPalestinians sit amid the ruins of destroyed homes in the Shejaia neighborhood of Gaza City, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes.