The former prime minister of the Netherlands said on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal and should be taken “right away to the international criminal court” at the Hague when he arrives in the country on Tuesday for a diplomatic visit.
“A war criminal will arrive here,” said Van Agt during an interview on public television, protesting the red-carpet reception which will greet Netanyahu.
He said that Israel’s activities in Judea and Samaria, including building, constitute war crimes.
“The occupation and building of settlements in occupied territory, is, according to the Rome Statute, which the international criminal court is based on… clearly a war crime,” he continued.
Van Agt, who served as prime minister from 1977-1982, is well-known for his anti-Israel views. In 2012, he said that the Jews should have had a state in Germany instead of Israel. According to his website, Van Agt has called Israel “a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land” which “engages in ethnic cleansing” and inflicts a “monstrous collective punishment” on the people of Gaza.
Netanyahu left for a diplomatic visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday, calling its current prime minister, Mark Rutte, a personal friend as well as a friend to Israel.
He said in a statement before boarding the plane that one of his goals for the trip is instilling in all European countries the understanding of Israel’s central role as a stable element in the Middle East.