After UN Failure, Palestinians Turn to International Criminal Court

The Palestinians are trying the next effort. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

The Palestinians are trying the next effort. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

The Palestinian efforts to try and force Israel to accede to their demands with regards to Palestinian statehood may have been dealt a blow with the rejection of their resolution at the United Nations Security Council, but they aren’t done yet. Next up is making good on one of their greatest diplomatic threats by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague. The plan is to drag Israel into a legal war over charges that have never merited such review—and that legal plan has been strongly condemned by the Americans.

According to the WAFA Palestinian news agency, the Palestinians submitted their application to join the ICC—which is typically reserved for nation states, which makes it unclear if the Palestinians will even be accepted—and their first target is Israeli home construction on territory the Palestinians claim (commonly known as settlements). Israel has long been open to negotiating the status of the settlements with the Palestinians and even acceded to a lengthy building freeze in an effort to spur on talks several years ago—but that’s not good enough for the Palestinians now.

The decision by the Palestinians to go to the ICC was meant with a strong response from the Americans. Jeff Rathke, director at the US State Department Office of Press Relations said in a released statement the US is “deeply troubled by [the] Palestinian action regarding the ICC.”

Said Rathke, “It is an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long viagra online melbourne australia hoped to see for their people… [It] is entirely counter-productive and does nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state. It badly damages the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace.”

That counterparty, Israel, understandably isn’t happy about the Palestinian moves, but they noted it’s not they who should have the greatest concerns about international courts. If the Palestinian bid to join the ICC is accepted, then they will also be open to trial in the courts.

In a statement from his office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it is the Palestinian Authority, “which is in a unity government with Hamas, an avowed terrorist organization that, like ISIS, perpetrates war crimes—that needs to be concerned about the International Criminal Court in the Hague.”

Netanyahu further noted they would “rebuff this additional attempt to force diktat on us just like we rebuffed the Palestinian appeal to the UN Security Council.”

The US, which also voted against the failed Palestinian move at the UN aimed to force Israel’s hand, continues to call for negotiations—not diplomatic moves currently used by the Palestinians—as what is needed for peace.

“While we are under no illusions regarding the difficult road of negotiations, direct negotiations are ultimately the only realistic path for achieving the aspirations of both peoples,” said Rathke.

“All of us would like to see the day when that effort can resume, and can lead to the peace that we all know is the only real, sustainable answer to the underlying causes of this conflict.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, January 1, 2015)

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