Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday ordered the formation of a committee to oversee cases to lodge with the International Criminal Court, in an extension of his unilateral move that breaches the 1993 Oslo Accords which created the PA.
The PA formally joined the ICC last month, aiming to use the international court to engage Israel in "lawfare," although it has been noted that the move will likely backfire as it opens officials of the PA and its unity partner Hamas up to war crimes charges as well.
The new committee will be headed by PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and include various figures from the Palestinian Arab political scene, universities and human rights organizations, said the official WAFA news agency as reported by AFP.
The committee "will identify and prepare the documents and records that the state of Palestine will present to the ICC," the agency said, citing Abbas.
On January 16, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary investigation into possible "war crimes" alleged against the IDF during last summer's Operation Protective Edge – during the fighting Hamas and Abbas's own Fatah committed thousands of war crimes with each rocket fired from civilian population centers against civilian population centers.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the prosecutor's decision, noting it was "scandalous" and "absurd" since "the Palestinian Authority cooperates with Hamas, a terror group that commits war crimes, in contrast to Israel that fights terror while maintaining international law, and has an independent justice system."
Belying the charges of war crimes, a detailed study after the war proved 49% of the casualties in Gaza were terrorists, meaning the IDF achieved a 1:1 civilian to combatant ratio almost unprecedented in urban warfare.
By contrast, a report last November revealed that a whopping 96.5% of the casualties from US drone strikes in the Middle East were civilians, after the White House declared last October that its policy banning drone strikes on civilians "does not apply" in its campaign in Iraq and Syria.