Riyad Al-Maliki
Riyad Al-MalikiFlash 90

The Palestinian Authority’s “foreign minister”, Riyad al-Maliki, is scheduled to meet soon in The Hague with the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor to discuss with her the opening of a formal investigation into Israel's "war crimes" against the Palestinian people.

In an interview with Palestine TV, Maliki said that, during the meeting, he will inquire about the steps that are required from the PA side and about the date of the arrival of the first delegations of the court to make preparations for the start of the investigation.

Maliki threatened that if Israel and the United States appeal to the UN Security Council to make a decision to suspend the investigation for a year, then the PA side will thwart this move through its allies in the Security Council who hold veto power.

On the Biden administration, Maliki said that the Palestinian Authority estimates that the new administration wants to re-evaluate relations with the Palestinians and get them back on track, and the Palestinians are waiting to see practical steps on the ground.

Maliki also said that the Palestinian Authority encourages Palestinian residents to file lawsuits against Israel, and to that end a committee headed by the Attorney General's Office has been set up to coordinate the complaints.

The ICC officially announced last week its intention to launch a probe against Israel over alleged “war crimes”. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas hailed the move, praising "the independence and courage of the Prosecutor in defending the right and freedoms" as well as "the tireless efforts made in previous years to reach the goals we seek."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denounced the ICC’s decision on Wednesday and called it “absurd”, adding, “It's undiluted anti-Semitism and the height of hypocrisy.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden Administration opposes the move and stressed, “The ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court’s jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel. The Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state and therefore, are not qualified to obtain membership as a state in, participate as a state in, or delegate jurisdiction to the ICC.”