Palestinians set to file first ICC complaint against Israel

Julie Wiener

(JTA) — Palestinian leaders plan to submit their first file against Israel to the International Criminal Court next week.

The file, which which will list Israel’s alleged violations of international law, will be delivered on June 25, a Palestinian Foreign Ministry official, Ammar Hijazi, said Thursday in Ramallah, I24 News reported.

The file to be submitted to ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is “only general, it’s only statistical,” Hijazi said. “But it certainly draws a grim picture of what Israel is doing and why we think that there are reasonable grounds … for the prosecutor to start [her] investigations.”

Also Thursday, according to the Palestinian Maan news service, another top Palestinian official, Saeb Erekat, urged the Palestinian Authority to revoke its recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes a Palestinian state. Erekat also called on the P.A. to refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and not allow Israel to maintain troops in the Jordan Valley as part of a peace deal.

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According to Maan, Erekat also said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad should be allowed to join the PLO’s Executive Committee and that Palestinian leaders should do more to help Palestinians living in Lebanon and Syria.

In January, ICC prosecutors opened a preliminary inquiry into possible war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank dating to the end of June 2014, just before the start of Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The prosecutors will determine whether preliminary findings merit a full investigation into alleged atrocities and possible charges against Israeli and/or Palestinian officials.

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