World

Palestinians Press International Criminal Court to Charge Israel

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki carries documents with the title page “State of Palestine: Submission to the International Criminal Court” as he enters the ICC in The Hague. (Peter Dejong/AP)
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki carries documents with the title page “State of Palestine: Submission to the International Criminal Court” as he enters the ICC in The Hague. (Peter Dejong/AP)

 

 The Palestinian Foreign Ministry presented documents on Thursday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague asserting that Israel should be investigated for war crimes in last summer’s fighting in the Gaza Strip and for continued construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The presentation of files to the ICC, written in broad outline with no specific charges­ against named individuals, is another step in what the Palestinians describe as their new strategy of “internationalizing” the conflict with Israel by seeking ways to embarrass, isolate and pressure it to withdraw from occupied territories and allow them to form a sovereign state.

The Palestinians stress that they are not “referring” cases for prosecution but “supplying information” to the ICC prosecutor for her to make up her own mind how to proceed.

If the Palestinians were seen as referring cases­ against Israel, that could trigger congressional ire — and real consequences. Congress could withhold $400 million that the United States annually provides for aid projects in the West Bank.

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