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Palestinians threaten ICC action if UN reject plan to end occupation

Palestinian leaders have said they will hold Israeli leaders 'to account' for their Gaza assault if the UN do not pass their resolution next month
More than 400,000 Palestinians have been displaced by the deadly Israeli assault on Gaza (AFP)

Leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) plan to submit a draft resolution at the UN Security Council to propose a timetable for ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine, according to Palestinian media sources.

Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath told Ma’an News late on Wednesday that the PLO will submit the application for a resolution on 15 September. The Arab League will meet on 5 September to “discuss how to support the move,” Ma’an reported. 

The Palestinian news site said that if the UN reject the proposal, the PLO would then go to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and “hold senior Israeli officials such as Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon accountable for Israel’s devastating assault on Gaza”.

“Taking the case to the ICC is conditional upon the Security Council response to our request,” Shaath said. 

Shaath added that after the UN responds to their draft resolution, a permanent Palestinian national unity government will be formed. It will include Hamas as a full and equal partner, “in order to facilitate the reconstruction of the war-torn Gaza strip.”

Israel’s bloody military offensive in Gaza came to an end on Tuesday, with a long-term ceasefire said to be in place to prevent any further violence for now. More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed in the seven-week long bombardment of Gaza, mostly civilians, including over 500 children. Seventy Israelis, including 66 soldiers and four civilians, were also killed. 

Palestine is not a member of the ICC, but Hamas signed a letter calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to join the court, even though the group could face charges of war crimes themselves if accepted. 

If Palestine ratified the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, they would be in a position to call for an ICC investigation into Israeli war crimes on Palestinian territory. Israel has signed, but not ratified the Rome Statute, which means the court would only have jurisdiction over territory deemed to be Palestinian.

Palestine became eligible to join the ICC in November 2012, when the UN granted the Palestinians status as a non-observer state. 

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