PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Flash 90

Israel is considering filing war crimes suits overseas against Palestinian Arab leaders in response to their application to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and press such charges against the Jewish state, an official source said Saturday.

Legal proceedings at courts in the United States and elsewhere are being weighed against PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, his Palestinian Authority (PA) and other senior officials, the source close to the government told AFP.

He said that the basis of the complaints would be that Abbas's partnership in a Palestinian consensus government with Hamas makes him complicit in the Islamist terror group's rocket attacks from Gaza against civilians inside Israel.

"In recent days officials in Israel stressed that those who should be wary of legal proceedings are the heads of the PA who cooperate within the unity government with Hamas, a declared terrorist organization which like the Islamic State (jihadist group) carries out war crimes - it fires at civilians from within population centers."

The source, who declined to be identified, did not detail precisely where or when such proceedings could be launched.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) formally presented a request to the United Nations on Friday to join the ICC, a move firmly opposed by Israel and the United States.

But even if the PA files charges against Israel, legal rights experts say that having the ICC enter the fray of the Israeli-Arab conflict will ultimately harm the PA, Hamas, and the ICC itself - not Israel. 

In a recent interview, the PA's envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) admitted the PA has no hope of pressing charges against Israel in international courts - because Palestinian Arab terrorist groups are far worse violators of international law themselves.

The PA's ruling terror organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PL), along with the PA already face criminal charges being levied against it in the US court system for terror attacks it committed during the early 2000s. 

The desperate move follows the PA exhausting other international means of prosecuting Israel, after its draft resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem failed in a UN Security Council vote Tuesday night. 

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