The entrance of the ICC is seen at The Hague. (Photo: hrw.org) International Criminal Court, The Hague. (Photo: hrw.org)

Fighting fire with fire – Israel threatens the Palestinian Authority with war crimes charges in response to the PA threat to go to court against the Jewish state.  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday: "The PA has chosen confrontation." (Photo: Mark Israel Sellem/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday: “The PA has chosen confrontation.” (Photo: Mark Israel Sellem/Flash90)

Israel may seek to have Palestinian Authority leaders prosecuted for war crimes if the PA moves forward with its bid to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order to charge the Jewish State with “war crimes.”

This initiative is joined by other Israeli moves to repel the Palestinian diplomatic onslaught.

An Israeli official told Reuters that it was “weighing the possibilities for large-scale prosecution in the United States and elsewhere” of PA head Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Palestinian officials. The official added that Palestinian leaders “ought to fear legal steps” as a response to their move toward ICC membership.

Israel would probably press these cases via non-governmental groups and pro-Israel legal organizations capable of filing lawsuits abroad, a second Israeli official told Reuters.

Abbas is sitting in a unity government with the Hamas, which is internationally recognized as a terror organization.

Furthermore, evidence shows that the PA itself is involved in war crimes and has actively participated in the summer war against Israel.

Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center), an NGO that combats terrorism through the use of international law, announced in November its formal request that the ICC prosecutor open an investigation into war crimes committed by Abbas during Operation Protective Edge.

Fatah reportedly fired multiple rockets from Gaza at Israeli civilian targets, fighting alongside Hamas.

Shurat Hadin asserts that Abbas, as head of Fatah, bears responsibility for its actions, as “he is their responsible superior exercising effective command and control over them.”

Israel Will Defend IDF Soldiers

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his resolve not to bend to Palestinian pressure. “The Palestinian Authority has chosen confrontation with Israel and we will not sit idly by. We will not allow IDF soldiers and commanders to be hauled before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.”

Netanyahu charged that it is the Palestinian leaders who should stand trial at the ICC for war crimes. “It is the Palestinian Authority leaders – who have allied with the war criminals of Hamas – who must be called to account. The soldiers of the IDF will continue to defend the State of Israel with strength and determination and just as they defend us, we will defend them with the same strength and determination.”

By: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel

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