ICC asks PA to explain decision to end contacts with Israel

International Criminal Court asks Palestinian Authority for legal explanation of decision to end all agreements reached with Israel.

Tags: PA ICC
Elad Benari, Canada ,

The International Criminal Court building
The International Criminal Court building

A senior Palestinian Arab official said on Thursday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked the Palestinian Authority (PA) for a legal explanation over its earlier decision to end all agreements reached with Israel, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Riyad al-Maliki, the PA “foreign minister”, was quoted as having told Voice of Palestine radio that the PA will send the ICC its response by June 10.

"I don't think the Palestinian decision to end all agreements reached with Israel would change the ICC's legal mandate or Palestine's commitments toward the international treaties," he noted.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced last week that the PA was no longer bound by the agreements it signed with Israel and the US, including the security coordination with Israel, in response to Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

The ICC’s Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, recently ruled that “Palestine” is a state and the ICC has jurisdiction involving its cases.

The Chief Prosecutor announced this past December that she intends to open a full investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes”, but before opening a full probe, asked the ICC to rule on the territory over which it has jurisdiction because of the "unique and highly contested legal and factual issues attaching to this situation."

Bensouda’s announcement was criticized in Israel and also by countries such as Australia and Hungary. Germany, meanwhile, backed Israel's argument that the court's jurisdiction does not extend to Palestinian Authority-assigned areas, as “Palestine” is not a state that fulfills all the criteria under general international law.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shavuot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)