The Palestinian Authority said over the weekend that it was planning to file complaints against Israel with the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court following the arson attack that killed Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha and injured his parents and brother.
Hamas and several other groups, on the other hand, called for avenging the killing of the baby – who was burned alive when his home was set on fire on Friday morning – by launching armed attacks against Israelis.
The PA leadership, which held an emergency meeting Friday evening to discuss its response to the arson attack, decided to seek a Security Council resolution condemning settler violence against Palestinians and Israel’s policy of building in the settlements.
At the end of the meeting, which was chaired by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leadership announced that it would bring the arson case to the attention of the ICC.
“This dangerous escalation of Israeli terrorism proves the correctness of the Palestinian decision to join the ICC,” the Palestinian leadership said in a statement. “We call upon the international community to assume its responsibilities in the face of this state-organized terrorism and the terrorism of the settlers and to stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law.”
Earlier, an angry Abbas told reporters in Ramallah that the PA intends to file charges against Israel with the ICC over the killing.
“The Palestinian leadership won’t remain silent toward these crimes,” he said. “This is a war crime; it’s a crime against humanity.”
Abbas accused the Israeli government of “encouraging” settlers “in what they are doing every day.” He said the arson was a “result of Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank. The Israeli government is directly responsible for what’s happening.”
The PA president claimed that since 2004 there have been 11,000 attacks by settlers against Palestinians.
On Saturday, Abbas dispatched three senior officials – PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, Health Minister Jawad Awwad and General Intelligence chief Majed Faraj – to visit the Dawabsha family members who are receiving medical treatment at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba and Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited the home of the Dawabsha family hours after the arson.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical groups strongly condemned the arson attack and called for retaliatory attacks against Israel. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal called for escalating “resistance” attacks against Israeli “occupation and its settlers.” He said this would be the “real response to their crimes.”
Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, condemned the arson attacks as a “heinous crime.” A spokesman for the group in the Gaza Strip said Hamas “has the right to torch the earth under the feet of those who burned Ali Dawabsha.”
A spokesman for Islamic Jihad said Israel should expect a Palestinian response to the crime, while other groups such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Resistance Committees urged Palestinians to launch armed