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."

 

Drone strike kills at least 30 ‘Qaeda’ suspects in south Yemen

Without proof, France fires new chemical accusations at Assad regime

Kuwait shuts two papers for breaking news blackout on 'coup tape'

Twitter seeks to end ‘war’ with Erdogan: Two ‘leak accounts’ blocked!

Female candidates push rights issue to fore of Iraq election campaign

Libya jihadists show video of pleading kidnapped hostage

Palestine to US: Israel to meet demands or we dismantle PA

Rouhani engages in sweet talk: Iran women not second class citizens

Involvement in violent protests sends Morsi supporters behind bars

Suicide bomber targets Imam Kadhim University in Baghdad

Worse yet to come in South Sudan: Three-year-old nation on brink of collapse

Assad visits Maalula to celebrate ‘victory’ and ‘Easter’

Islamists kill 11 soldiers in worst attack on Algeria army in years

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa