First Published: 2012-11-28

 

Palestinians under 'intense pressure' not to sue Israel for war crimes

 

Ashrawi says Palestinian leadership has not given in to heavy international pressure to commit that they will not sue Israeli officials at ICC.

 

Middle East Online

Ashrawi: Most of pressure comes from UK

RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories) - The Palestinians are facing "intensive pressure" not to sue Israel for war crimes at the International Criminal Court should they win upgraded UN status this week, an official said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said the Palestinian leadership had not given in to heavy international pressure to commit that they would not sue Israeli officials at the ICC should they win recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations.

"We have not succumbed to pressure, we did not give any commitment," she said, speaking a day before Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was to present the upgrade request to the UN General Assembly in New York.

"We haven't decided that tomorrow we are going to be recognised as a state and the day after, we are going to the International Criminal Court," Ashrawi said.

Most of the pressure came from the British government, she said.

"The UK did try in an intensive effort to modify the text (of the resolution) and to get assurances and commitments," she explained.

"It wasn't only the UK but it was the most visible. We know that Israel, of course, was working through the US and through the UK to try and get commitments that Israel will not be taken to the International Criminal Court."

If the request is approved by the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly -- which is largely seen as a foregone conclusion -- it will give the Palestinians access to a range of UN agencies and also potentially to the ICC, which is based in The Hague.

Israel strongly opposes the UN bid, saying a Palestinian state can only emerge through bilateral negotiations and not through a vote by the global body. Officials fear the Palestinians will use their new-found status to take legal action against Israeli officials at the ICC.

Ashrawi said she hoped that the threat alone would be enough to make Israel think twice about its actions vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

"We hope that this will be a positive inducement for corrective action" on the part of Israel, she said.

"It is our right to join all international agencies and organisations and we will accede to all international charters and conventions. We reserve our right to decide on how and when to proceed in accordance with our best interests."

 

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Cultural heartland of Al Ain hosts night of Emirati musical heritage

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria

Western powers threaten sanctions against hostile actors in Libya

New deadly terrorist attack targets Egypt army in Sinai

‘Islamic State’ suffers heavy losses in Syria battleground of Kobane

After full formation of Iraq government, time comes to visit Iran

UN appeals for four-day truce in Western Libya

Gaza tunnel collapses before demolition: At least 3 Egypt soldiers dead

Erdogan begins one-day visit to Afghanistan

After weeks of delay, Iraq gets new security ministers

Diplomats scold Turkey over ambiguous relation with Islamic State

Lebanon pleads for Iran military aid to fight Islamic State

Kurds repulse new jihadist attempt to cut off Syria town

Huthi rebels meet fierce resistance in Yemen Sunni areas

Former Iraqi pilots train IS to fly Syria fighter jets

Two Millstones Drowning America into Premature Oblivion

Iraqi forces launch anti-IS operation north of Tikrit

Ben Ali cohorts planning comeback in Tunisia polls

Battle for Libya's Benghazi heats up

Kurdish fighters still holding out in Syria's Kobane

Russia denies agreed with US on IS intelligence-sharing

Saudi’s National Commercial Bank to offer $3.6 billion IPO

Qaeda counters advancing rebels with Yemen town seizure

Iran warns Saudi cleric death sentence could escalate tensions

No breakthrough in US-Iran intense nuclear talks

Kuwait ends decades of diesel, kerosene subsidies

US airstrikes ‘push back’ IS in Kobane

New desperate attempt to reach Europe: Hundreds storm Morocco-Spain border

Turkey Kurdish party plans talks with armed PKK rebels in Iraq

Iraq beats back ‘Islamic State’ assault on Ramadi

Saudi court sentences Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr to death

Iran nuclear talks: Search for elusive breakthrough begins