PA ‘Lawfare’ Against Israel at ICC to Commence Next Week

The Palestinian Authority (PA) will next week submit their first "war crimes" file to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in their legal offensive against Israel, an official said on Thursday.

The move is part of an increased focus on diplomatic maneuvering and appeals to international bodies by the PA, in unilateral moves to join international organizations such as the ICC in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accord which established the PA.

The file is to be handed to ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on June 25, and will detail alleged violations of international law by the Jewish state, PA foreign ministry official Ammar Hijazi told reporters in the Samaria city of Ramallah.

On April 1, the PA formally joined the ICC with the goal of trying Israeli leaders for alleged abuses during last summer's war in Gaza, and alleged "crimes" relating to the Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria which the 2012 Levy Report proved was legal according to international law.

The file is "only general, it's only statistical," Hijazi said. "But it certainly draws a grim picture of what Israel is doing and why we think that there are reasonable grounds…for the prosecutor to start (her) investigations."

It does not refer to specific incidents, but the PA will submit such details in future if Bensouda decides to proceed with inquiries, he said.

Bensouda's office has opened a preliminary examination into the claims, starting from June 2014.

Earlier this year, as the PA was putting its accession to the ICC in motion, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas sent documents to the court authorizing the prosecutor to investigate alleged crimes that took place in Gaza, Judea and Samaria since June 13, 2014.

The unrest in June last year, which sparked when Hamas terrorists abducted and murdered three Israeli teens and Arabs rioted nationwide, escalated to the summer war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization.

Contrary to PA "war crimes" charges, international law experts have criticized Israel for warning Gazans too much and harming the ability of Western democracies to combat terror.

Bensouda has also said she is weighing opening war crimes investigations against Hamas and others – even Abbas's Fatah posted videos of it firing rockets from Gaza at Israeli civilian populations in an act constituting a war crime.

The ICC, set up in 2002, is the world's only permanent independent body to try the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

AFP contributed to this report.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196948

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