Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (file)
Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (file)Flash 90

A senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official last Friday opposed his organization's aspirations to sue Israel for "war crimes" at the International Criminal Court (ICC). His reason - such a move might prevent Arabs under PA jurisdiction from "shooting Israelis."

The official, Abbas Zaki, is a leader in PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction. His comments came in an interview on the Lebanese Palestine Today TV, which was translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

"I'm against signing the Rome Statute (i.e., joining the ICC) as long as our country is occupied. If tomorrow you shoot, they'll say you signed an agreement," remarked Zaki.

The PA official continued "this is not meant for people who want to liberate their country...I think the (Palestinian) people's weapon is pure - they don't want to kill. By the way, there are no innocent Israelis." 

Zaki's statements have great significance, particularly given his close relationship with Abbas. Last October he reportedly went to Syria as Abbas's personal representative, and he has spoken at public events representing Abbas's Fatah movement.

Fatah, particularly its "military wing" Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, has been calling for a return to a terror war against Israel, a message which Zaki has been supporting for a long time.

On official PA TV in March, Zaki called Israelis "an advanced instrument of evil," claiming "Allah will gather them so that we can kill them."

Likewise in February he said on TV "none of us, especially in Fatah, has ruled out the military options" against Israel. The month before that, he said on Syrian TV that any agreement Abbas reaches with Israel will merely be the "first stage" in destroying Israel.

Zaki similarly revealed the not-so-secret intentions of the PA back in 2011, when he said "if Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall, what will become of Israel? It will come to an end."

“If we say that we want to wipe Israel out...C'mon, it's too difficult. It's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world,” he warned. “Keep it to yourself.”