Riyad Al-Maliki
Riyad Al-MalikiReuters

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has offered to sign agreements with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to facilitate the court's investigation on "Israeli war crimes", a senior official announced on Saturday, according to Xinhua.

PA “foreign minister” Riyad al-Maliki was quoted as having told Voice of Palestine radio that the PA is ready to fully cooperate with the ICC to open an official and comprehensive investigation into "Israeli war crimes."

"We will work on signing treaties with the court, including the opening of offices in the occupied Palestinian territories for the court and move the investigation committees and its staff to facilitate its mission," he said.

Al-Maliki affirmed that the PA is pressing to accelerate the release of the decision by the ICC First Pre-Trial Chamber's judges regarding the geographical jurisdiction of Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to start an official investigation in PA territories.

"The ICC found full evidence that allows it to investigate into Israeli war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, mainly in regards to settlement and the large-scale Israeli aggression waged on the Gaza Strip in 2014," he said.

Bensouda 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."

She subsequently ruled that “Palestine” is a state and the ICC has jurisdiction involving its cases.

The ICC was to have ruled on whether the Chief Prosecutor indeed has the authority to investigate Israeli “war crimes”, but it went on its summer recess on Friday without deciding on the matter.

Bensouda’s announcement on a probe against Israel 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.