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 ready to send ground troops to Syria

IS jihadists rise in Libya, drop in Iraq and Syria

Iraq’s Sistani to end weekly political sermons

Syria regime forces close in on Daraa

Morocco king inaugurates first solar power plant

Palestinian journalist to keep up hunger strike

Shebab fighters recapture key port in Somalia

Israeli leaders slam Arab MPs, refuse to return Palestinian corpses

World powers pledge $10 billion to help war-hit Syrians

Israel charges cop for exposing woman's ID

Russia accuses Turkey of preparing to invade Syria

Syria talks were an inevitable failure

Saudi says Iranian pilgrims still welcome

Italy demands truth from Egypt over slain student

Fear stalks Libya's Sirte

US adds $890 million to Syria humanitarian aid effort

Tunisia lifts nationwide curfew

Two Israelis jailed for burning Palestinian teen alive

Sweden expects 100,000 asylum seekers in 2016

Turkey refuses access to Russian flight as Aleppo bombardment continues

40,000 Syrians flee Assad regime's Aleppo offensive

US implicitly blames Russia for collapse of Syria peace talks

Rome summons Egypt’s ambassador over student’s death

Israeli forces lock down West Bank town

Two Algerians 'linked to IS' arrested in Germany

Assad regime accused of undermining Syria peace talks

Top Qaeda chief killed in Yemen drone attack

EU agrees on details of Turkey refugee deal as Italy drops objections

Iraq air force receives second batch of F-16 fighter jets

Syria army secures major battlefield victory as peace push falters

Blast on Somalia airliner ‘points to bomb’

In ‘lightening’ raid, Lebanon kills, arrests 22 ISIS members

Three Palestinians, one Israeli killed in Jerusalem

Turkish court acquits academic over 'terrorist propaganda'

Syrian opposition chief arrives in Geneva to join troubled peace talks

Nigeria president warns of Libya ‘time bomb’ for Africa and Europe

Loyalists kill three Qaeda suspects in southern Yemen

Iran, Germany agree on need to cooperate against ‘terrorism’

Fears grow for Kurds trapped in Cizre in southeastern Turkey

Price collapse taking its toll on oil producers’ budgets

Yemen rebel strikes kill, wound 375 in Saudi border zone

Algeria moves forward with package of constitutional reforms

Syrian opposition's chief negotiator pessimistic about peace talks

Blast forces Somalia airplane to make emergency landing

Iraq’s Barzani raises statehood referendum issue