Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud AbbasReuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday accused Israel of committing "war crimes" in the Gaza Strip and vowed to prosecute Israel at the International Criminal Court, the Xinhua news agency reports.

Abbas made the accusation at an emergency meeting of the Arab parliament of the Arab League, which was held to discuss the ongoing tension in Gaza.

"What Israel does now in the Gaza Strip is a state terror and war crimes that violate international law," Abbas said, adding, "We will prosecute Israel before the international courts."

The PA "is seriously working with all parties to pressure Israel to stop its aggression on our people not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in the West Bank and East Jerusalem," he added.

Abbas revealed that the PA has informed the United States of its full readiness to work through the international Quartet to end wars and achieve peace in the Middle East.

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.

The ICC’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda last week threatened to open another probe into Israeli “war crimes” as it responds to the continuing rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

"I note with great concern the escalation of violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in Gaza and its environs, and the possible commission of crimes included in the Rome Statute," she tweeted.

Bensouda has already launched an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes during the 2014 war with Gaza. Critics have accused Bensouda of having political motivations for the investigation and of twisting and ignoring international law in order to justify the investigation.