PA prime minister: Countries helping Israel now face legal action

The Palestinian Authority prime minister celebrated the ICC decision and put Israel’s allies on notice.

By World Israel News Staff

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned on Monday that foreign countries involved in the support of the “illegal settlements” in Judea and Samaria must either withdraw their support or face legal consequences from the ICC.

He made his remarks following the ruling of International Criminal Court’s (ICC) top prosecutor recommending the opening of a formal investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes” against the Palestinians.

Shtayyeh told the members of the PA cabinet on Monday that the ICC is finally recognizing the “suffering” of the Palestinian people and that Israel will pay for its aggression in the Gaza Strip and its “occupation” of Judea and Samaria.

On Friday, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she will open a formal investigation on whether Israel committed “war crimes” during the 2014 war with Gaza, known in Israel as “Operation Protective Edge,” when Hamas launched rockets into the Jewish state and Israel responded defensively.

“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in ‘Palestine,’” said Bensouda. “There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed in the context of the 2014 hostilities in Gaza.”

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the ICC decision, saying it is “scandalous and baseless.”

Critics of the decision say that that the ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel as the country isn’t a signatory to the Rome Statute, which gives the court power to investigate war crimes. They also point out that the the ICC is to investigate crimes between states and the PA is not a state, although Bensouda referred to it in her brief as the “State of Palestine.”