A senior diplomat in the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced on Wednesday that the PA will submit two suits against Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on June 25, reports the Xinhua news agency.
Nabil Abu Zneid, the PA’s ambassador in the Netherlands, was quoted as having told Voice of Palestine radio that the two suits are related to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as to last summer’s fighting in Gaza.
"Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki is to head a high-ranking Palestinian delegation that comprises rights groups, and will submit the two suits against Israel to the international court on June 25," said Abu Zneid.
He added that "the train has already departed the station and Israel has to hurry up to catch it, because refusing to deal with the ICC would be a wring Israeli choice."
"One month after submitting the two suits against Israel, a top ICC delegation will visit the Palestinian territories to probe the two suits but we still don't know how Israel will deal with their visit," Abu Zneid said, according to Xinhua.
"The ICC delegation will meet both Israeli and Palestinian sides," he claimed, adding that "all of us are waiting how Israel will be reacting to the visit of the ICC delegation to the Palestinian territories."
The PA was officially admitted to the ICC in April, threatening to sue Israel for "illegal settlements" in Judea and Samaria, despite the fact that the Jewish presence in the region is legal under international law as was conclusively proven in the 2012 Levy Report.
However, the PA is itself not immune from lawsuits at the ICC, and a Palestinian Arab source admitted to the possibility of the ICC bid backfiring.
"The Israelis have prepared stacks of paperwork on conduct during Operation Protective Edge, including claims of Hamas rocket fire and Palestinian groups shooting from schools and other civilian buildings. This could lead to a suit against Hamas leaders who control the Gaza Strip," the source said in April.
Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center has already launched law suits against PA chairman Mahmoud 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 last summer's clash.