The Palestinian Authority is providing new documents to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, looking to speed up a preliminary probe into possible Israeli war crimes, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki said Monday, according to Ma’an.
The probe, opened on Jan. 16 by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda from Gambia, is, supposedly, only an examination of available information, in the process of deciding whether a “reasonable basis” exists to proceed with a real investigation.
Al-Malki told Ma’an that if the ICC won’t proceed with an investigation, the PA will start its own investigation, with “specific referrals” to both the Israeli settlement program and last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip.
The PA is in talks with China and Russia—permanent members of the UN Security Council—to get their support in keeping future investigations of Israel by the ICC from being blocked.
On March 29, the PA agreed to hold off legal steps against Israel in return for the latter releasing tax money it had been withholding as punishment for the PA for joining the ICC.
Israel has transferred part of the money, but had the audacity to deduct the amount the Palestinians owe for electricity, water and medical services. So, in response, on Sunday, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that, too was a war crime.
Abbas said: “Now we have a new file to take to the ICC, first there was the war in Gaza, then there was the settlements and now the Palestinian leadership is considering presenting this issue to the court in due time.”
Abbas even ordered his government to return the partial amount to Israel, saying: “We will not take the money until we get all of it: either you give us the full amount or we go to the ICC.”
If only we had to guts to talk to Time Warner this way about our cable bill…