PA is requesting ICC membership before charging Israel over Israeli settlements

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki says “no rush to go to the court” yet, but warns of serious response if Israel continues with building in E-1 area.

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

 

The Palestinian Authority Wednesday repeated threats to file charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court [ICC] over plans to build housing units in E1, on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem.

International Criminal Court in the Netherlands - Photo: REUTERS/Michael Kooren

International Criminal Court in the Netherlands – Photo: REUTERS/Michael Kooren

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that the Palestinians’ next move would be to request membership in the ICC following last month’s UN General Assembly vote in favor of granting a Palestinian state the status of non-member observer.

“We are not in a rush to go to the court because we want to use this option in the right way to achieve the most effective outcome,” Malki told the PA’s official Voice of Palestine radio station.

“We will choose the appropriate time to do so.”

Malki warned, however, that if Israel insisted on proceeding with the housing project, especially in E1, the Palestinians will respond in a strong way, including filing charges with the ICC.

“Then we would be able to prosecute Israel for all the war crimes it perpetrated against our people in the past, especially the construction of settlements,” he added. “It all depends on whether Israel would continue with its settlement plan.”

On Tuesday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said during a visit to Turkey that he too did not rule out the possibility of taking Israel to the ICC over the settlement project.

The PA Ministry of Information in Ramallah also voiced support for filing charges against Israel with the ICC.

The ministry accused Israel of “escalating its political and military offensive” against the Palestinians and called for action to prosecute Israeli “war criminals.”

 

View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=295678

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