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Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Abed Rabbo 311 (R).(Photo by: Nasser Nuri/Reuters)
PA reiterates threat to take Israel to ICC
Israeli official says gov't has made clear to Palestinians that they “would pay a price” if they brought a complaint to the ICC.
The Palestinian Authority on Thursday repeated its threat to file charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo said that Israel’s “increased crimes against our people will prompt the Palestinian leadership to go to international agencies in wake of the recent UN General Assembly’s vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinians’ status.”

Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Abed Rabbo said that the PA leadership’s options “to confront Israeli crimes” remain open.

The leadership, he added, will not spare any means to go to international institutions “to punish Israel for its crimes.”

He said that the UN General Assembly’s vote permits the Palestinians to take such a step.

Abed Rabbo called for escalating “popular and peaceful” activities against Israel and hailed the recent establishment of a Palestinian tent outpost near Ma’aleh Adumim.

The PLO official said that the PA leadership was serious in its efforts to end its dispute with Hamas. He added that the two parties have already begun moving toward implementing previous reconciliation accords to end the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

One Israeli government official said that Israel did not want to see the Palestinians “adopt unilateral provocative steps,” but would react if they did.

He said the government has made clear to the Palestinians that they “would pay a price” if they brought a complaint to the ICC, though he refrained from spelling out what that price would be.

“They have no illusions, and are well aware there would be consequences,” he said.

The Israeli official said that in addition to punitive measures being considered, the government was also weighing legal responses in the event the Palestinians were to carry out their threat.

“What is ludicrous is that the same people who talk about international law were only last year shooting rockets at Israel, trying to kill as many civilians as possible, while hiding behind their own civilians – a double war crime,” he said.

The official said that if the ICC allowed Palestinian membership, something now possible as a result of the PA’s successful bid in November to become a non-member observer state in the UN General Assembly, it would likely turn into yet another institution – like the UN Human Rights Council – hijacked to bash Israel.
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