First Published: 2012-12-11

 

Palestinians consider ICC approach over Israel E1 settler plans

 

Abbas warns Palestinians could pursue Israel at ICC if it builds new settler homes in area of West Bank near Jerusalem.

 

Middle East Online

‘We will respond using all methods’

ANKARA - The Palestinians could pursue Israel at the International Criminal Court if it builds new settler homes in a highly-sensitive area of the West Bank near Jerusalem, president Mahmud Abbas warned on Tuesday.

"If Israel continues with this (settlement plan), we will respond using all methods, obviously peaceful, and including the court," the Palestinian president said in Ankara at a news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

Israeli plans for the construction of 3,000 new settler homes, some of them in a strip of West Bank land called E1, have sparked a major diplomatic backlash, with experts warning it could wipe out hopes of establishing a viable Palestinian state.

"The latest announcement of the Israeli government about building new settler neighbourhoods on lands belonging to the Palestinian state in the areas surrounding Jerusalem is hostile and (crosses) a red line," Abbas said.

"We will not allow its execution as it is a violation of international treaties, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention," he said of the clause which bars an occupying power from transferring parts of its own population into the territory it occupies.

"If they chose peace they will find us ready, but if they chose settlements, especially building in E1, we will do something else."

Israel's E1 plans became public a day after the Palestinians won recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations, in a move which deeply embarrassed the Jewish state which had lobbied to prevent it.

The Palestinians' new-found status could potentially give them access to the ICC, sparking fears they could sue Israel for war crimes -- particularly over its settlement building.

Gul also "strongly condemned" the Israeli construction plans for E1, which sparked a wave of international criticism, urging Israel not to "play with fire."

Abbas has previously said he had no plans to immediately approach the tribunal which would only be possible after the Palestinians first sign and ratify the Rome Statute.

Abbas arrived in Turkey on Monday on his second foreign trip since the UN vote, following a visit to Doha at the weekend.

Ankara has been a staunch advocate of the Palestinian cause, but its ties with Israel have deteriorated dramatically since a deadly maritime assault on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 which left nine Turks dead.

 

‘War’ in Sinai Peninsula as clashes with ISIS fighters rage on

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after suicide bombing

Better late than never: Tunisia boosts security around tourist sites

Yemen rebels free 1,200 prisoners

Number of migrants crossing Med swells to 83% in first half of 2015

Kurds warn Turkey against any ‘aggression’ in Syria

Kuwait parliament approves deficit budget on oil slide

Pro-Erdogan candidate becomes new speaker of Turkey parliament

All 38 victims of Tunisia beach massacre identified

36 killed in wave of IS attack on Egyptian soldiers

Iran vs. Israel gets cartoon treatment

IAEA chief to fly to Iran for nuclear talks

Saudi prince pledges fortune to charity

Syria Kurds regain full control of Tal Abyad

Palestinian PM to make 'temporary' cabinet reshuffle

20 civilians killed in rebel fire on Yemen's Aden

Iran nuclear talks go into extra time

Gulf states urged to follow Kuwait on maid rights

Negotiators extend deadline for Iran nuclear talks

‘Islamic State’ re-enters Syria border town of Tal Abyad

Defiant tourists stay in Tunisia

Deadly clashes rage on in eastern Libya

Only mobile phone company in Gaza closed by Hamas

Zarif keeps cards close to chest as he meets Kerry

Orange reaches deal with Israel's Partner after spat

Kuwait in ‘state of war’ after mosque suicide bombing

Iranians take to streets of Tehran to demand ‘good nuclear deal’

Turkey 'ready to help' Greece out of economic crisis

Sisi pledges tougher laws against militants after prosecutor killing

French prosecutor confirms IS link to factory beheading

Tunisia ‘was not prepared’ for beach massacre

Tunisia makes first beach massacre arrests

Tunisia attack set to wipe $500 million off economy

IS beheads two female ‘sorcerers’ in Syria

US resumes security aid to Bahrain

28 killed in IS attack on Huthi rebel leaders in Sanaa

Britons death toll in Tunisia attack to soar to 'around 30'

US official says method found for access to suspect Iran sites

Turkey holds top security meet

Israel to Syria rebels: 'Don't mess with the Druze'

Egypt state prosecutor dead after Cairo bomb attack

Iranians anxious as talks stumble

Qatar concedes 'much more needs to be done' on labour law

'Unprecedented situation' for Sudan's journalists

Egypt's state prosecutor injured in bomb attack