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Palestine says may have no choice but to take Israel to ICC
Published Thursday 24/01/2013 (updated) 26/01/2013 17:22
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A protester holds a Palestinian flag as he arrives at an area known as
"E1", outside Palestinian suburbs of East Jerusalem.
(Reuters/Ammar Awad, File)

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- The Palestinian Authority foreign minister declared Wednesday that Palestine will have no choice but to complain to the International Criminal Court if Israel proceeds with settlement expansion plans in the occupied West Bank.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the UN Security Council on the Middle East, Riad al-Malki said his government's decision will largely depend on what the Israelis do with the so-called "E1" area outside the Palestinian suburbs of East Jerusalem.

"If Israel would like to go further by implementing the E1 (settlement) plan and the other related plans around Jerusalem then yes, we will be going to the ICC," he said. "We have no other choice. It depends on the Israeli decision."

The Palestinian Authority has previously suggested that bringing its various disputes with Israel to the Hague-based court was an option, but al-Malki's remarks on Wednesday were the most direct threat his government has made against Tel Aviv to date.

The International Criminal Court prosecutes charges of genocide, war crimes and other major human rights violations. Palestine must first apply to join the court, and once a member it could refer Israel for investigation.

Palestine became eligible to join the ICC after the U.N. General Assembly upgraded its status at the world body in November from "observer entity" to "non-member state."

After the Nov. 29 vote -- on the 65th anniversary of the adoption of UN resolution 181 that partitioned Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states -- Israel announced it would build 3,000 more settler homes in East Jerusalem.

E1 covers some 12 square km and is considered particularly important because it not only juts into the narrow "waist" of the West Bank, but also backs onto East Jerusalem, where Palestinians want to establish their capital.

Approximately 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. The United Nations deems all Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal.

'State of Palestine'

U.N. Special Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry told the 15-nation Security Council settlements were contrary to international law and "increasingly an obstacle to peace." But he also warned Palestine against pursuing international action.

The council meeting on the Middle East represented its first public debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the Palestinian UN status upgrade. Al-Malki and a number of council members referred to the "State of Palestine" in their speeches.

The words "State of Palestine" were also emblazoned on the name plate for the Palestinian delegation.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice made clear to the council that such public references to the "State of Palestine" do not make it a sovereign state.

"Any reference to the 'State of Palestine' in the United Nations, including the use of the term 'State of Palestine' on the placard in the Security Council or the use of the term 'State of Palestine' in the invitation ... do not reflect acquiescence that 'Palestine' is a state," she said.

The United States, Israel and seven other members of the 193-nation General Assembly voted against the Palestinian UN status upgrade in November.

The White House on Wednesday renewed its call for a resumption of long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in the wake of Israeli elections in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged the winner but with a weaker-than-expected showing for his right-wing bloc.
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1 ) Pro Pal / UK
24/01/2013 10:01
Yes Pals must make use of the sward they got and defend the country.

2 ) AKeenReader / UK
24/01/2013 13:17
Time for talking is over and its up to Palestinains to make their own destiny. Take Israeli govt officials to ICC and call their bluff. This is the ONLY way they will listen and when the verdict comes then clarification of international law will be in Palestinains favour. PLEASE STOP ANY HOPE OF US BECOMING NEUTRAL IN PALESTINIAN CAUSE.

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
24/01/2013 13:30
Palestine declares end to peace process, opens the doors for Fatah and Hamas leaders to be prosecuted in ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity. It will be great for both sides to get the old guard behind bars. This might be a great way to get new, young and dynamic leadership for a breakthrough in the peace process.

4 ) Four Palestines / One Reality
24/01/2013 15:17
1- PALESTINE, FROM THE START of it's UNGA statehood bid,
PLANNED "TO TAKE ISRAEL TO THE ICC" (which:
-a- the ICC may not even agree to hear &
-b- Israel can just ignore), because
2- Palestine neither can, nor will, ever accept it's reality, in that
3- Palestine "may have no choice but to take" whatever Israel offers
in negotiations, regarding borders, capitals, and refugee return, and
4- Palestine's reality will remain unchanged forever, until it accepts !!!!

5 ) Big Mike / USA
24/01/2013 15:58
More than likely Just another empty threat

6 ) Mel / USA
24/01/2013 16:16
"No choice"?There's ONLY ever been 1 choice!ICC/ICJ Enuf of the farce re:"Road Map"(to nowhere for Palestine)& a"Peace Plan" of perpetual ISRAELI MILITARY KILLING&offensive akin to apartheid colonialism,with an Israel run by theo-fascist-Kahanists.As long as USG remains a BIASED broker,then ANY CRUMB offered,is a crime &insult,Even the "Quartet"memebers are SICK of the Zionist farce.Their Nat.Sec.& moral ntegrity is in jeopardy too! BYPASS USG brokerage,totally! It's a TROJAN HORSE! ICC/ICJ!!

7 ) TERRIFIC IDEA / IT WILL GET THE PEACE TALKS
24/01/2013 16:23
going Israeli citizen will learn the HARSH HAND OF THE HAAGUE Israel will IMMEDIATELY DROP TO ITS KNEES and BEG FATAH FOR PEACE! ULTIMATE VICTORY IS AROUND THE CORNER!

8 ) @ Mel-6 & Terrific-7 / USA too
24/01/2013 17:50
6- It was NOT a "Road Map" to nowhere for PALESTINE", which now
- EXISTS as a real state (at least according to the UNGA), AND
- HAS SOVEREIGNTY (at least in Areas A/B & Gaza), AND
- WILL REMAIN UNCHANGED, in it's present "nowhere" status,
UNLESS IT ACCEPTS REALITY, where it has "no choice but to take"
whatever Israel offers, in exchange for whatever Israel demands, and

7- The "Haague" will likely NOT even agree to hear Palestine's charges,
since nothing was stolen from it !!

9 ) Nour / One-State
24/01/2013 18:50
I'm no fan of the defunct "2-state" solution but why is MAAN still referring to the Ramallah regime/cantons as the "PA" and not "Palestine" as directed by the puppet Abbas himself, following his successful UN non-member state bid? Is MAAN even less patriotic than the master puppet himself? The Palestinian must rid him/herself of the slave mentality. Otherwise freedom will not come our way! As far as we are concerned, Palestine is from River to Sea.

10 ) ya American / USA
24/01/2013 20:04
Theyu should have already filed a complaint for the recent string of murders Israeli have committed against innocent Palestinian citizens!!

11 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
24/01/2013 20:15
So GO to the ICC already !!!!!! What more are you waiting for ... Palestinian "unity ???" Even better, save your travel time and set up a video conference link with them, fax them over all relevant documents, start talking, make your case and wait for their decisions. By that time, we'll have completed all the hotels, homes, water development, etc. in E-1 (and probably E-2) and be well on our way towards E-3. Meanwhile, ATTN: U.S. Ambassador, Susan Rice, We greatly appreciate your (cont.)

12 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
24/01/2013 20:27
support as always but the U.S. must STOP living in fantasyland. According to the U.N., there now DOES exist a (second) Palestinian nation called the State of Palestine. The U.S. doesn't recognize it, we don't recognize it, it may not be sovereign ... but it is NOT a "de facto" nation ... It IS recognized by 138 nations. This is the honest truth. STOP pretending otherwise. You're putting your foot in your mouth.

13 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
25/01/2013 01:11
@ 9), As much as you know my beliefs, I have to admit your assertion for MNA (make that all news media) to now use the name State of Palestine when referencing the land and people the Palestinians have now been recognized on as their (second) nation according to the U.N. SHOULD be done. I say this out of complete honesty AND reality based upon the freely-given assent and confirmation of the vast majority of nations in the world, not based on what I personally believe. Yes, you are RIGHT.

14 ) Outlier / USA
25/01/2013 03:21
The PA has many choices now. It also had many choices in the past and frequently made bad ones. Any number of the the latter, had they chosen wisely, would have made this entire discussion moot.

15 ) ian / australia
25/01/2013 03:26
' "Any reference to the 'State of Palestine' in the United Nations, including the use of the term 'State of Palestine' on the placard in the Security Council or the use of...'State of Palestine' in the invitation...do not reflect acquiescence that 'Palestine' is a state," [Susan Rice] said.' This will come as a surprise to UN Chief of Protocol Yeocheol Yoon, Dec 17, 2012, "the designation of 'State of Palestine' shall be used by the Secretariat in all official United Nations documents."

16 ) ian / australia
25/01/2013 03:27
(contd.) (Also Wikipedia: "Non-member observer states are recognized as sovereign states" (see "Observer Status".) (I know it's Wiki, not a dusty legal tome, but I bet it's still right.)

17 ) Sami, the bedouin / Palestine
25/01/2013 09:15
In an article titled, “The Israeli Terrorist State and its Mossad Assassins,” the late professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights from 1970 until 1990, famously wrote: “There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service (the Mossad) to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its ends.”

18 ) @ Yehuda-12 / \ Tobias/USA
25/01/2013 15:49
- I totally agree with you, and believe that Israel should tell this new
"State of Palestine, that DOES exist now, that all the PA-Israel agreements
(imports, exports, taxes, electricity, and water) that existed with the PA,
expired with the PA, and do NOT exist between Palestine and Israel, &

- IF PALESTINE WANTS ANY OF THE PA AGREEMENTS TO CONTINUE,
IT WILL HAVE TO NEGOTIATE THEM, AND such negotiations will be IN PARALLEL WITH BORDER, CAPITAL, AND REFUGEE ISSUES, or not at all !!

19 ) Reality / Past & Future
25/01/2013 17:18
The ICC has declined to even "hear" previous war crimes charges brought against Israel, because they were without sufficient merit, and since the
State of Palestine had neither sovereignty, nor even existed in 1967, when Jordan lost control of the West Bank to Israel, most likely
the ICC would decide that Palestine's charges would again be without sufficient merit, and again decline to hear them in court, which likely explains why Palestine threatens charges, but does NOT act !!!

20 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
25/01/2013 17:22
@ 17), Yes, we have committed state-sponsored terrorism (and, to our severe detriment on numerous occasions, "at home" by individual Israelites, against Palestinians). To Iran/others, our targeted assassinations of Iran's nuclear scientists/engineers are understandably considered international terrorism. The immorality of terrorism is a universal given tenet no matter who commits it, I agree. The discriminating factor--by anyone who does it--is the ends for which it is done provide (cont.)

21 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
25/01/2013 17:39
justification for overriding moral considerations. There is no solution for this except if all parties can peacefully conclude on which principles of national survival everyone can agree on for mutual existence and safety. @ 18), I hear you and you have very valid points; however, while legally- and academically-speaking you're 100% right, there would be no practical benefits otherwise, whether for re-negotiating "expired" agreements or resuming "peace"-negotiating issues.

22 ) Sami, the bedouin / Palestine
25/01/2013 19:47
With all the rich record of the zionist entity in terrorism in all field of criminality (assassination, collective punishment, war crimes, violating other countries sovereignty, ... etc) @ http://samibedouin.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/death-penalty-a-state-of-assassins/... BUT nothing will happen even if the Palestinians went to ICC ... still the zionist entity is the little kid of Britain and America and it will take a long time before it will ( and time will come) be considered a rogue state.

23 ) r cummings / UK
26/01/2013 01:23
The ICC issue is straightforward. Israel is adjudged an occupier under international law, as per the ICJ's legal opinion. It is impossible to argue otherwise, as the UN itself set Israel's borders, yet here it is, squatting in the neighbouring State of Palestine! Occupying powers are subject to very strict rules under Geneva Convention 4. Israel has broken them left right and centre, from water and land theft to settlements to expulsion of Palestinians. The ICC will have a field day!

24 ) bla bla / bla bla
26/01/2013 09:56
Both Palestine and Israel received their UN statehood on Nov 30 1947. Palestine , Egypt, Jordon, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq did not accept the mandate and all attacked Israel . Yet after WW 1 and the fall of the Ottomon Empire Trans Jordon, the Republic of Syria , Iraq and Lebanon were formed under the mandate of the British and French. How quickly they forgot when it came to the Jews getting back a morsel of the homeland.
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