PALESTINIAN LEADER : GOING TO THE ICC MEANS THE END OF NEGOTIATIONS

A member of the Central Committee of Fatah, Mohammad Shtayyeh (Photo : MEMO)
A member of the Central Committee of Fatah, Mohammad Shtayyeh: Palestinian request to join ICC is the finish line for negotiations with Israel. (Photo : MEMO)

Ramallah, 24 Rabi’ul Awwl 1436/15 January 2015 (MINA) – A member of the Central Committee of Fatah, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said the Palestinian request to join the International Criminal Court is the finish line for negotiations with Israel, and an effort to internationalise the Palestinian cause.

According to a statement issued by his office, during his meeting with the representative of the European Union in Ramallah John Rutter yesterday, Shtayyeh said: “The ICC was the last resort for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after the failure of the last round of negotiations and the failure of Washington to halt settlements construction.”

He added: “This step is the finish line for the table of bilateral negotiations and an effort to internationalise the Palestinian cause.” Middle East Monitor (MEMO)  quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting, Thurday.

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He pointed out that over the past few years, the negotiations did not “get Palestine any closer to an independent state, but rather took it away from it, thanks to the Israeli actions on the ground from imposing a blockade on Gaza to the fragmentation of the West Bank by creating a new reality there through establishing settlements, building the Separation Wall and stealing land.”

He pointed out that “Abbas, the Palestinian president, is no longer able to provide other opportunities for bilateral negotiations.”

The timeframe allocated for the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations came to an end at the end of April last year without any results.

Shtayyeh added: “Palestine will submit indictments against Israel to the International Criminal Court, and we hope that the investigations of the court, which failed previously in several cases related to different areas in the world, will mark a success story in the interest of Palestinian rights.”

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“Although the Palestinian membership of the International Criminal Court might not have an impact on the ground, it is time to break the de facto rule imposed by Israel on the Palestinian people,” he stressed.

Shtayyeh stressed that in the same way that Israel has stopped the transfer of Palestinian taxes and Washington has halted its aid, the Palestinian Authority will stop security coordination.

“Israel will have to pay the money sooner or later and will not be able to politically blackmail us with money.”

The minister called on Arab countries to “translate the Arab financial safety net from a political slogan to actual cash in banks,” pointing out that some Arab countries, which he did not name, did not like Palestine’s decision to go to the United Nations.

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On 31 December, 2014, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed 18 international treaties including the Rome Statute hours after the UN Security Council rejected the Arab draft resolution to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories by the end of 2017.

The Israeli government continues, through the Ministry of Finance, to withhold Palestinian tax revenues in response to the Palestinian move to join the international treaties.

The Palestinian unity government has since announced that it is unable to determine a specific date for paying the wages of public sector employees. (T/P002/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)