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.

 

Yemen warring parties back to peace talks table

Fierce clashes rage in Syria’s Aleppo

Is Erdogan-Davutoglu tandem coming to an end?

US troops facing growing risks in Iraq, Syria

Cafes, restaurants spring up in Tripoli

Israeli tanks fire shots over Gaza border

5th edition of Middle East Homeland Security Summit to be held in Amman in November

Money and revenge push Syrians to jihadist ranks

EU conditionally backs visa-free travel for Turks, overhauls asylum system

Airstrikes resume in Damascus as fighting 'freeze' ends

Relief in Yemen's Mukalla after year of al-Qaeda rule

Saudi oil minister visits Sudan to cement improving ties

Warnings for Assad as Syria talks shift to Berlin

OPCW warns ISIS may be making chemical weapons

French court says 'Carlos the Jackal' must face trial for 1974 attack

UN demands protection of hospitals in armed conflicts

Jewish settler who led burning alive of Palestinian teen receives life sentence

Italy ready to raise shipwreck off Libya coast

Heavy airstrikes kill dozens in ISIS Syria bastion

Deadly intra-rebel clashes rock eastern part of Syria capital

German 'jihadist' goes on trial for Syria war crimes

Number of people held in solitary confinement doubles in Israel

UN fears operation near Mosul will displace 30,000 more Iraqis

Turkey Nobel Laureate shows solidarity with veteran writer, Murat Belge

Russian FM hopes for Aleppo ceasefire in 'next few hours'

Israel Labour mulls break with British party over anti-Semitism claims

Saudi to ensure Binladin Group resolves wage issues

Tens of thousands of Shiite pilgrims flock to Baghdad shrine

EU set to grant Turkey visa-free travel in migrant deal

Syria rebels strike hospital in regime-held Aleppo

US soldier feared killed in Iraq’s Kurdistan

Israel destroys home of Palestinian suspect's family

Saudi women to get copy of marriage contracts

UN envoy seeks to restart Yemen peace talks

UN envoy in Moscow to save Syrian truce

Iraq reform process in limbo after Green Zone storming

EU praises Turkey efforts to meet criteria for visa deal

Sudan claims 'sovereign rights' in dispute with Egypt

Amnesty denounces ‘shocking’ conditions in Iraq detention centre

Carnage in Iraq as deadly car bomb targets Shiite pilgrims

PKK attack kills at least one soldier in southeast Turkey

Turkey pounds ISIS positions in Syria

Five years on, bin Laden doctor languishes in jail

Top Sudan court lifts ban on leading newspaper

Iran to grant citizenship to families of killed foreign recruits