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."

 

Saudi delegation in Israel to promote stalled peace initiative

Air raids jeopardise much-needed medical care in Aleppo

Libya loyalists seize ISIS bomb factory in Sirte

Tunisia dissident, Mohsen Marzouk, opens new party congress

Iran destroys 100,000 ‘morally damaging’ satellite dishes

ISIS suicide bomber kills at least 15 in northern Baghdad

Turkey readies first cross-party rally to condemn coup

At least 61 people dead as ISIS claims twin blasts in Kabul

Iraq PM seeks to speed up death penalty implementation

Munich shooting had 'obvious link' to Breivik, not ISIS

EgyptAir flight broke up in midair after fire, evidence suggests

Palestinian village could soon cease to exist

Coalition warplanes strike Qaeda positions in southern Yemen

Turkey extends police powers, shutters over 1,000 private schools

Libya ‘NATO revolutionaries’ urge fight against French troops

Germany probes motives of 'lone' Munich mass killer

Russian warplanes targeted US, British outpost in Syria

Syrians harness Pokemon frenzy to depict their plight

Bodies of 14 'executed' people found in Libya's Benghazi

UN to help Turkey bolster tourism sector

France to supply weapons to Iraqi army

Turkey tensions fester in Germany

Israel official on first visit to Chad in 40 years

EU condemns 'unacceptable' Turkey purges

Iran stops 'terrorist infiltration' from Turkey

Moscow restarts air travel to Turkey

Assad says Erdogan is 'implementing his own extremist agenda'

Egypt's Sisi says 'serious efforts' made in Palestine peace process

43 civilians dead as regime bombards rebel-held areas in Syria

UN pleads for weekly 48-hour truce in Syria's Aleppo

Kuwait upholds death for Iran spy cell 'mastermind'

Iran arrests 40 over 'terrorist' plots

US-backed forces give IS '48 hours' to leave Syria's Manbij

Syria activists urge protests over deadly coalition raids

Kuwait issues ultimatum to Yemen negotiators

Turkey coup plotters go on trial in Greece

Mali renews state of emergency after deadly attack

Turkish President declares 3-month state of emergency

Libya unity govt blasts French military presence

Erdogan critics fear what may come next

ISIS bomb kills 4 in Yemen's Aden

Outrage after Syrian rebel group beheads child

Israel parliament passes law allowing expulsion of Palestinian MPs

Europol warns 'Lone wolf' terror attacks hard to track

Turkey blocks WikiLeaks email dump on ruling party