Saeb Erekat
Saeb ErekatReuters

Saeb Erekat, formerly the chief negotiator on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and a member of the Fatah Central Committee, threatened on Tuesday that the PA would take a number of steps in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against what he termed the "crimes of the Israeli occupation, led by the settlements.”

“The whole world, including the five permanent members of the Security Council and the United States in particular, unanimously agreed and clearly said that Israel's occupation of Palestinian land and all that it entails is illegal and a war crime,” said Erekat.

"On this basis,” he added, “the Palestinian leadership will take steps in response to Israel’s arrogance and the war crimes that it continues to commit."

Another member of the Fatah Central Committee, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said last week’s resolution passed by the UN Security Council opens new avenues for diplomatic activities against the “settlements”.

He said that the PA will try to submit another draft resolution to the Security Council which calls for sanctions against Israel over the “settlements”.

The PA officially joined the ICC on April 1, 2015, and immediately filed a series of legal complaints with the court. In addition to claiming that Israel committed war crimes during the 2014 Gaza war, it also claimed that Israeli “settlements” are “an ongoing war crime”.

Earlier this week, a close associate of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas threatened to sue Israeli officers at the ICC following the vote at the Security Council.

“In 2017 we will go to The Hague,” the associate told Israel’s Channel 2 News, adding, "We have hundreds of pages with names of IDF officers. Every pilot and every officer and every soldier, we have his picture, his name, and we are waiting for him at The Hague. If we succeed in just one case, it's a different world.”