The PA has taken another step in its diplomatic warfare against Israel, but this time it may prove self destructive.
UN Secretary General Ban- Ki-Moon announced on Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority will be admitted as a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on April 1st, 2015.
The PA submitted the relevant documents to join the ICC last Friday, and Ban announced on the U.N.’s treaty website his acceptance of the documents, saying “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015” in accordance with the court’s procedures. He said he was “acting in his capacity as depositary” for the documents of ratification, AP reports.
After the PA’s failure to gain statehood at the UN Security Council (UNSC) at the end of the December, they launched the next stage in their diplomatic warfare against Israel, and have submitted their request to join several international bodies and treaties, among them the ICC. The Palestinians intend to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes at the ICC.
PA Risking Their Own Existence
This move may prove a grave mistake for the Palestinians. By joining the ICC they expose themselves to war crimes charges, and Israel has already announced it will pursue this action. Israel has further retaliated by holding back NIS 500 million (about $127 M) in tax funds it had collected on behalf of the PA in December, reiterating its resolve not to bend to Palestinian pressure and diplomatic belligerence.
Additionally, and of more pertinence, the PA ascension to the ICC may constitute a breach of American law, and that entails the halting of U.S. aid to the PA at an annual sum of $440 M, thus jeopardizing the PA’s existence. Reports indicate that discussions are now under way in Congress as to whether the PA has violated U.S. appropriations law.
The U.S. has harshly condemned this latest Palestinian course of action, stating that the U.S. was deeply troubled by the Palestinian action regarding the ICC.
“It is an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long hoped to see for their people,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said last Wednesday. “Today’s action is entirely counter-productive and does nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state. It badly damages the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace.”
By: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel
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