Hamas terror operatives in Gaza tunnel.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas announced on Friday that the Palestinian Islamist group is willing to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order to advance the Palestinian cause, indicating that it would hand over officials to the international tribunal.
Hamas official Khalil al-Haya in a state said "the referral to the ICC is not inconsistent with the organization's [Hamas'] continued resistance [against Israel] in all its forms, as it carries the goal of garnering all rights, including that of armed resistance."
He added that the terror group which controls Gaza was confident of a victory over Israel in "legal conflict."
On April 1
, the ICC officially welcomed the State of Palestine as the 123rd state party to the Rome Statute.
Hamas hailed the Palestinian decision to join the ICC as a “first step toward lifting the immunity from Israel.”
The international community should now “isolate the criminal Zionist entity” and hold Israelis accountable for war crimes against Palestinians and their holy sites, the Islamist organization said.
Hamas called on the PA to file war crimes charges against Israel for all the fighting since 2006, the construction of settlements and the West Bank security barrier, and “assaults on holy sites, Jerusalem and Palestinian prisoners.”
Shortly after the Palestinians formally joined the court, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said “Palestine” has no right to join the ICC, because there is no Palestinian state in accordance with international law.
Nachshon said that for this reason, the ICC's prosecutor erred earlier this year in accepting the Palestinian request for a preliminary examination into alleged war crimes stemming from Operation Protective Edge over the summer.
“The Palestinian Authority government, which has established a partnership with the murderous Hamas terrorist organization that carries out war crimes like those carried out by Islamic State, is the last one that can threaten to file claims in the international court in the Hague,” he said.Khaled Abu Toameh and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.