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Palestinian FM Positive on Truce, But Renews ICC Bid

Jaffa—i24news.tv reports that Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki believed the latest ceasefire in Gaza will hold, despite the fact that theywill continue to try to charge Isra­el with war crimes in the Hague’s International Criminal Courts (ICC).

“We expect the ceasefire to expand into another 72 hours and beyond,” Malki told re­porters at a press conference in The Hague, where he earlier met the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

“We have heard that Israel has really com­mitted itself to withdrawing… but it really de­pends on Israel and the seriousness of the Is­raeli side,” Malki said.

Malki met Bensouda to learn how to be­come a co-signer of the Rome Statute. The US objects to the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to try Israel in the ICC. “We object to one sided ac­tions. Right now the focus should be on the honoring of the ceasefire,” said the spokesper­son for the US State Department.

In late November 2012 Palestine obtained non-member observer status at the United Nations, opening the door for an ICC investi­gation. The leadership has since been under intense pressure from including the US, Brit­ain and France and others to desist from sign­ing up for an ICC probe.

The war, Malki said, forced them to revisit the issue. “Israel has left us with no other op­tion than to take this approach,” he said, re­ferring to “atrocities” committed in Gaza. “We must do everything in our power to bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity,” he said.

When i24 asked Malki if Palestinians could also be accountable, Malki said the Palestini­an leadership was ready to accept the court’s findings. But the ICC said they have no jurisdic­tion over Palestine because they are not sign­ers of the Rome statute and they have yet to re­ceive any official requests for an investigation.

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