A Palestinian Arab delegation, led by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on Friday met with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hand over a file documenting alleged Israeli crimes such as "ethnic cleansing," Palestinian officials said, according to AFP.
Abbas arrived late Friday at the court for talks with prosecutor Fatou Bensouda accompanied by Palestinian foreign minister Riad al-Malki, the news agency reported.
The talks at the world's only permanent war crimes court come amid an increase of Israeli-Palestinian violence and marked Abbas's first meeting with Bensouda since the Palestinian Authority sparked controversy by joining the tribunal in January.
The PA was officially admitted to the ICC in April and has since launched a "diplomatic war" on Israel, which has included a barrage of petitions to the ICC blaming the Jewish state for various "war crimes" – while the PA and Hamas participate in war crimes themselves.
Top Palestinian official Saeb Erakat said a 52-page dossier was to be handed over to court officials Friday.
It includes details of alleged "summary executions, collective punishments, house demolitions and ethnic cleansing," Erakat said in a statement quoted by AFP.
The dossier "gathers all the information on the Palestinian martyrs and their identities, the way in which they were executed, and is backed by verified photos and videos," he claimed
To Israel's fury, the Palestinians have already formally asked the ICC to investigate it for alleged war crimes during the 2014 Gaza war.
Bensouda has officially opened a preliminary inquiry to see whether there is sufficient evidence of crimes by either the Palestinians or the Israelis which would merit formal investigation.
It should be noted, however, that the PA is itself not immune from lawsuits at the ICC. In fact, Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center has already launched law suits against Abbas and Hamas leaders at the ICC.
Giving further ammunition to the charges against the PA and Hamas was an Amnesty International report released in March which showed how Palestinian Arab terrorist groups in Gaza committed war crimes during the 2014 clash.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)