Voltaire Network

Palestinian Authority withdraws complaint against Israel


Correction: Saleem al-Saqqa pledges to maintain Palestinian complaint to ICC”, Voltaire Network, 9 August 2014.

The Palestinian Authority requested International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Ms Fatou Bensouda to nullify the complaint filed on July 25, 2014 by Palestinian Justice Minister Salim Sakka and Gaza Attorney General Ismail Jaber against the war crimes committed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip.

Interim President Mahmoud Abbas argued that the complaint was likely to backfire against the Palestinian resistance (which is legally false) and that the Palestinian Authority favored a different strategy: joining the Court (which it never followed up on).

The complaint was endorsed by 130 law professors from around the world. In accusing Israel of colonialism, it automatically triggered a series of precautionary measures and prohibited foreign companies from trading with Israeli entities established in the occupied territories. So that even if the complaint were not to be considered in a long time, it would nevertheless have generated immediate effects.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: "Do not listen to any voice that suggests we would be opposed to an action before the International Criminal Court. Some people say that Hamas or other resistance fighters could be the targets of such a procedure, but it is not true. It is only propaganda. Nothing that we do worries us. We are under occupation and it is our right, by law, to resist. And it is also the right of our people to be defended."

In the absence of elections, Mahmoud Abbas has been the acting president since 2009. Accused of collaborating with Israel, he regained popularity once more by supporting the people of Gaza since the onset of Operation "Protective Edge."

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