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March 29, 2015

The Palestinian Authority (PA) will formally join the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1, but the Jerusalem Post reports that following Israel’s decision on Friday to release its frozen tax revenues – the PA is not expected at this time to take steps against the Jewish State in the ICC regarding settlement construction.

The report adds that while the ICC prosecutor has – at the PA’s request – opened a preliminary inquiry into alleged Israeli war crimes carried out duringOperation Protective Edge, the PA is not expected at this time to take additional legal steps in the ICC regarding last summer’s Gaza war.

Also as a result of Israel’s decision to free up the tax funds, the PA does not intend to stop its security cooperation with Israel, the Post learned.

The PA’s United Nations representative, Riyadh Mansour, said Sunday that the PA is determined to prosecute Israel in the ICC, no matter what. Speaking on NBC‘s Meet the Press, Mansour said that at this point, there was nothing that would stop the PA from trying to prosecute Israel in the ICC.

The only way to prevent this, he said, was an immediate end to Israeli settlement activities in Judea and Samaria. “The first step should be to adopt resolution on the parameters to defend a two-state solution and then after that we should have another resolution from Israel to stop this illegal activity of settlement activities, because we cannot have a two-state solution when we have 600,000 settlers,” he said.

The gambit to join the ICC might be the PA’s Achilles’ heel, estimated Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center.

“The ICC is a special situation because the US itself doesn’t believe in the court and doesn’t want the court to determine Palestinian statehood,” she said. “They don’t want to strengthen the court.”.