Palestinian officials hint they will go to ICC over Israel’s latest settlement plan

Israel/Palestine
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Since Palestine’s UN upgrade two weeks ago, events and rhetoric appear to be on steroids, moving at a swift pace . Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking at a press conference in Ankara with Turkish President Abdullah Gü Wednesday, said he would take legal action against Israel should it make efforts to colonize E1, a portion of land east of  Jerusalem. “His country is coordinating with Turkey to develop a legal strategy,” according to Turkish daily Today’s Zaman.

Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riad Malki also dangled threats of a strong response if Israel proceeded ahead with its latest colonization scheme and said Palestine’s next move would be to request membership at the International Criminal Court.

Jerusalem Post also says, PA to request ICC membership over Israeli settlements:

The Palestinian Authority Wednesday repeated threats to file charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court [ICC] over plans to build housing units in E1, on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem.

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that the Palestinians’ next move would be to request membership in the ICC…….

The PA Ministry of Information in Ramallah also voiced support for filing charges against Israel with the ICC. The ministry accused Israel of “escalating its political and military offensive” against the Palestinians and called for action to prosecute Israeli “war criminals.”

Jerusalem Post, citing Turkish daily Today Zaman, reported Turkish President Abdullah Gül saying Israel’s threat to build is EI was “playing with fire.”

Today’s Zaman states, “Abbas reveals Turkey, Palestine to coordinate legal steps against Israel:”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said his country is coordinating with Turkey to develop a legal strategy for the newly recognized UN-observer state of Palestine to challenge Israel’s increased settlement activity in the Occupied Territories, especially against those that will cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

“We have come to an agreement with the Turkish government on two points: One is to establish close coordination with Turkish permanent representation at the UN with our UN representation in New York and the other is to have Turkish Foreign Ministry experts provide legal counsel to our side,” he told a group of reporters in Ankara.

According to Today’s Zaman, Abbas has been discussing possible financial assistance with Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan– probably to prop up the PA since Israel’s cutting off their funds for the next four months, or so it threatens.

“We acquired many rights when we were recognized as a non-member state by the UN. But in fact we will not eagerly consult international courts if Israel agrees to and complies with a peace agreement,” Abbas maintained.

….

Abbas also said he discussed monetary assistance to Palestine with Erdoğan, whom he described as very sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. “He knew all the details about Palestine and we have discussed ways to help Palestine in the face of punitive sanctions by Israel and the US,” he explained. He recalled that the Arab League has set up a monitoring committee headed by Qatar on what assistance would be provided to Palestine in case funds were cut off by Israel and the US in the wake of recognition at the UN Assembly.

He also underlined that his government puts a priority on reconciliation among Palestinian groups. “Khaled Meshaal called me half an hour before I arrived [in Turkey] and we discussed reconciliation steps,” he revealed during the meeting. He said Hamas is ready to pursue talks with the PA under Egyptian mediation after the group’s ongoing internal elections.

By the way, Turkey pulled out the red carpet for Abbas. Literally, brass horns and all. (video!). Israel must be fuming.

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