Palestinians to step up campaign against Israel at ICC: Top official

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Palestinians will step up their efforts at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to pursue war crime charges against Israeli authorities, says a top Palestinian official.

“We say clearly that we will go to the Hague Tribunal, we will accelerate, continue and intensify” efforts against Israel, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said.

Erekat also said that the Palestinians will step up their diplomatic campaign for statehood.

Erekat’s comments came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party claimed victory in general elections. With nearly all counts voted, Netanyahu’s Likud party has now secured 30 seats in the 120-member parliament.  Netanyahu had said before the elections he would block any Palestinian statehood if re-elected as prime minister.

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian unity government, has issued a decree for the formation of a new committee to follow through Palestine’s bid to prosecute Israel at the ICC. The committee will be tasked with preparing the legal documents that Palestine needs to present to the ICC. Palestine officially joined the ICC in January, but the statute will enter into force on April 1.

Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip last summer and its settlement expansion policies in the occupied Palestinian territories make strong cases for Palestinians to sue the regime at ICC. By joining the ICC, Palestinians would be able to bring war crimes charges against Israeli officials.

Israel’s latest war on Gaza that ended in August 2014 with an Egyptian-brokered truce killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. The latest Israeli assault also left over 11,100 others injured.

By Press TV