PA Threatens ICC Action Over E1 Construction

PA Foreign Minister warns that Israel’s allowing Jewish homes i E1 would be “trespassing the red lines.”

Elad Benari,

PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki
PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki
AFP photo

The Palestinian Authority has threatened to launch an International Criminal Court case if the new Israeli government allows new Jewish construction near Jerusalem, the PA’s foreign minister said Wednesday, according to AFP.

Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Israel’s allowing Jewish homes into the so-called E1 area, which connects Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, would be “trespassing the red lines.”

The PA is "absolutely not going to tolerate any construction in that particular area," Malki told reporters after addressing a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East conflict.

"We will wait to see how Israel will react from now on, especially after the formation of the new government," he added, according to AFP.

After PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas went to the United Nations, where the PA was recognized as a non-member observer state, the Israeli government announced it would build new homes in E1. The move angered the PA, despite the fact that the entity itself violated the Oslo Accords by going to the UN to win de-facto recognition as a state.

Abbas has threatened in the past that he would respond if Israel moves ahead with plans to build new Jewish homes in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

Malki also said on Wednesday that the PA also has a priority list of UN agencies and treaties that could be joined after the UN vote in November.

"We are ready to sign on treaties and conventions, and we are ready also to see ourselves applying for UN agencies and international organizations," Malki said, according to AFP. The foreign ministry was awaiting a "green light" from Abbas, he added.

Malki said incoming U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry should visit the region as soon as possible and that 2013 would be a "critical" year for the peace process.

Malki told the UN Security Council that the PA would work toward peace with any Israeli government that recognizes “the Palestinian state”, but blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the stalemate in the peace process, saying his actions since the November 29 vote have been "the complete antithesis of the two-state solution."

"In the wake of the Israeli elections, Palestine is willing to work with any Israeli government to be formed -- provided that it is committed to the General Assembly resolutions giving effect to the state of Palestine and to the pre-1967 borders," Malki told envoys.

The minister said the deadlocked peace process is now at a "crossroads."

Israel must choose between "a meaningful political process" or "force us into an era in which that solution is abandoned and the Palestinian people enter a new stage in their struggle to defend and achieve their rights," Malki said.

Israel's UN ambassador Ron Prosor rejected the criticism, according to the AFP report.

"The major obstacle to the two-state solution is the Palestinian leadership's refusal to speak to their own people about the true parameters of a two-state solution -- to speak a lexicon of peace, not a litany of war," he told the Security Council meeting.

Since 2009 Abbas has refused to come to the negotiating table with Israel and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks.

He has embraced Hamas rather than condemning its rocket attacks on Israel and has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, choosing instead to incite his people against Israel on official PA television networks and newspapers.