Protest against evacuation of Arabs in Sheikh Jarrah
Protest against evacuation of Arabs in Sheikh JarrahMohamar Awad/Flash 90

Omar Awadallah, head of the UN Department at the Palestinian Authority’s “foreign affairs ministry”, sent a letter to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court regarding what he called "forced eviction of Arab families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem."

The letter, sent under the direction of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, demands that the court "investigate the war crimes that Israel is committing in the Palestinian territories."

In a conversation with the official PA news agency Wafa, Awadallah said that "forced deportation, war crimes and crimes against humanity are issues that fall within the scope of the Geneva Convention."

He added that in the coming days, diplomatic activity in UN institutions is expected to "bring about the investigation of Israel as the occupying power regarding its policy in East Jerusalem and to activate the international community to stop the Israeli violations."

On Tuesday, PA cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh said the issue of eviction of families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood would be reported to the International Criminal Court as a "war crime."

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”.

The PA has had standing at the court since the UN General Assembly recognized the "state of Palestine" as a non-member observer in 2012.