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December 8, 2014 – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to haul Israel before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the event that a resolution supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state independent of negotiations with Israel fails to pass through the UN Security Council.
“If they want to take me down, I will take them along with me,” Abbas said, referring to a recent lawsuit filed against him at the ICC by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal advocacy organization.
Shurat HaDin’s suit charges that, as the leader of the nationalist Fatah faction, Abbas is personally responsible for rockets fired at Israel by Fatah terrorists over the summer, when Israel went to war with the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.
Though neither Israel nor the PA are members of the ICC, and therefore do not fall under its jurisdiction, Shurat HaDin claims that Abbas is a Jordanian citizen and can therefore be prosecuted.
“Jordan is a current member of the ICC. The ICC is empowered to exercise its jurisdiction over all acts committed by the citizen of a member, wherever those acts are committed,” Shurat HaDin said in its announcement of the lawsuit last month.
Abbas’s threat to confront Israel at the ICC was made during a speech yesterday in Ramallah, in which he confirmed that he would not wait for the results of Israel’s March 2015 election before submitting the resolution to the Security Council.
“There is nothing wrong with the Palestinian draft resolution, which calls for ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and establishing an independent Palestinian state in the light of a specific timetable,” Abbas said at a celebration organized by the state-run Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission in Ramallah.
Meanwhile, the PA’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is, has continued to stoke tensions in Jerusalem.
“All that Israel wants is to Judaize the Holy City, take over the Al-Aqsa Mosque, destroy it and build the alleged Temple. Under Jerusalem there is a city of tunnels belonging to Israel. Yesterday, I was told that Israel has an underground market beneath the Jaffa Gate, which draws many [Palestinian] residents who shop there,” Ida’is told the PA’s official TV channel, in remarks translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
“The libel that Israel is conspiring to destroy Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem has been a core element of the recent riots in Jerusalem, which witnessed several terror attacks against Israelis in which 11 were murdered,” PMW commented.