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November 28, 2012 11:25 am

Palestinian UN Observer Claims PA Won’t Rush to Bring Israel to International Criminal Court

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations. Photo: UN.

The Palestinian UN Observer, Riyad Mansour, said Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority will not rush to sign up to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if they win a UN status upgrade, but that it will remain an option.

“I don’t believe that we are going to be rushing the second day to join everything related to the United Nations, including the ICC,” he told a news conference at the United Nations on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

But if Israel continued to implement policies opposed by the Palestinian Authority, particularly building developments in the West Bank, then Mansour said the  Palestinian Authority would consult other world powers as to what next steps should be.

“We’re not in the business of trying to prolong this conflict and settle scores,” Mansour said. “But we are not fools nor dummies. If they don’t move in that direction … then all of us should be considering all other possible options in order to bring them into compliance.”

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“It’s meaningless drivel,” Anne Bayefsky, a Senior Fellow with the Hudson Institute and director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. “It’s just a throwaway line, it doesn’t have any serious commitment behind it. I think they’ll go to the court because they want to deligitimize Israel and they’re going to take every possible route.”

The ICC rejected a Palestinian Authority request in April to investigate alleged crimes in Gaza and the West Bank because the Palestinian territories were not a full U.N. member.

The Palestinian Authority appears to be a lock for a status upgrade at the UN, gaining support from much of the developing world and several European countries, including France and Switzerland. Israeli, British and U.S. diplomats have unsuccessfully tried to persuade the Palestinian Authority to drop its upgrade bid. When that failed they tried to secure a commitment from the Palestinian Authority that they would not go to the ICC.

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