West Bank, 15 Rabiul Awwal 1434/27 January 2013 (MINA) – Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said Palestinians may turn to the court to stop Israeli construction on Palestinian land, especially on a controversial piece of land on the outskirts of eastern Jerusalem called E-1.
“If Israel would like to go further by implementing the E-1 plan and the other related plans around Jerusalem then yes, we will be going to the ICC,” he said referring to the International Criminal Court.
“We have no other choice. It depends on the Israeli decision,” he added, according to Arab News report received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) Sunday (27/1).
Israel keep continuing their illegal E-1 settlement, and according government spokesman Mark Regev said Israel continues to propose the immediate resumption of direct peace talks with no preconditions whatsoever.
The Palestinians’ ability to appeal to the court comes after the United Nations General Assembly upgraded “Palestine” to a non-member observer state in November. In after Israel announced the building project of E-1 settlement as well as a corridor of land between East Jerusalem and the large Jewish community of Ma’ale Adumim.
Palestinians say building there would divide Palestinian state and impede movement from Ramallah in the north to Bethlehem in the south. The international community has also sharply criticized the planned Israeli construction.
The International Criminal Court prosecutes charges of genocide, war crimes and other human rights violations. “Palestine” would first have to apply to join the court and then, if accepted, charge Israel.
The ICC has already ruled that the barrier that Israel is building in and around the West Ban is illegal.
The Court ruled that Israel confiscated Palestinian property to build the barrier and that it impedes freedom of movement. The ICC decision is not binding and Israel has continued building.
“Even if the decision on the wall or E-1 is not applied it sets an important precedent,” Saleh Abd Al-Jawad a Palestinian historian at Birzeit University said, “I think it is a good idea, even if it is a dream that anything will change.”
Malki spoke after the UN Security Council held a special session on Israeli construction in the West Bank. The nameplate for the Palestinian delegation read “State of Palestine,” a moniker attacked by US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice.(T/P10/R-005)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)