PA urges more than condemnation of Israel’s latest West Bank expansion plans

The Palestinian Authority called on the international community to do more than condemn Israel’s latest plan to expand communities in the West Bank.

Israel is planning to expand the communities of Emanuel, Kedumim, Neveh Tzuf and Vered Yericho, Haaretz reported Monday.

"The international community should not be satisfied with declarations condemning the settlements" and the "evil policies to take control of Palestinian land," the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Israeli government, the ministry said, "turns such policies legitimate and even encourages them because no one will tell it not to do so or bring it to justice according to the principles of international law."

The ministry said it has "no confidence" in the Israeli legal system, which "gives legitimacy to the settlements, emphasizing that the Palestinian Authority has decided to take the issue of the settlements" to the International Criminal Court.

The Palestinian Authority applied to join the court at the end of last year and is expected to receive full membership by early April.

On its website, the court, based in the Hague, says it was established in 1998 "to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community."

The court is funded by its member states and voluntary donations from governments, companies and private citizens.

On Saturday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed an order establishing a central authority to handle all Palestinian applications to the ICC regarding alleged war crimes by Israel.

A national panel will provide all documentation that the ICC requires and will be a liaison with the court, including coordination with professionals in Gaza and the West Bank, Abbas’s decree says.

The committee also will coordinate the work of the lawyers and legal advisers representing Palestinian families before the court.

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.641807

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