NEW YORK - The Palestinian Authority says it will use the new UN status for Palestine to sue Israel at the International Criminal Court if the Tel Aviv regime goes ahead with a new plan to expand illegal settlements in the occupied territories.
Nabil Sha’at, a senior member of the Palestinian Authority, said on Tuesday that Palestinians would file a complaint at the ICC if the Israeli regime sticks to its recent plan to build thousands more settler units in East al-Quds and the West Bank, including in the controversial E1 area.
“By continuing these war crimes of settlement activities on our lands and stealing our money, Israel is pushing and forcing us to go to the ICC,” Sha’at said.
On November 29, the 193-member UN General Assembly voted 138-9 with 41 abstentions to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
The Israeli regime announced the plan for the construction of the new settlement units following the UN vote.
Meanwhile, Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestine Authority official, said the international community should propose sanctions on Israel.
“We have to move to concrete steps so Israel knows it has something to lose and will be held accountable, in accordance with international law,” Ashrawi said.
Many countries, including some of Tel Aviv’s allies, have criticized the settlement expansion plan.
However, sources close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have said that the Tel Aviv regime would “continue to stand up for its vital interests even in the face of international pressure.”
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The settlements are considered illegal by the UN and much of the international community.