Palestinians Renew ICC Push against Israel over West Bank Village

A high-ranking Palestinian official says the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority has submitted a new complaint over an Israeli "war crime" against a village in the occupied West Bank at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said on Tuesday that the dossier “included a focus on the war crimes facing Khan al-Ahmar, specifically the crimes of forcible displacement, ethnic cleansing and the destruction of civilian property,” Erekat said, according to Press TV.

He added that the PLO had also asked ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to expedite a preliminary probe into other Israeli war crimes.

  “We hope that an official judicial investigation can be opened as soon as possible,” Erekat noted.

Last week, the Israeli High Court approved plans for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar village east of Jerusalem al-Quds. It could be razed within the coming days.

The European Union has warned against the consequences of tearing down the village’s tents and tin shacks.

French Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said his country was “paying particular attention to the case of Khan al-Ahmar given its location in an area of strategic importance for the continuity of a Palestinian state and for the viability of a two-state solution with al-Quds as the capital.”

He also warned “of the potential humanitarian as well as political consequences of the demolition of this village and the displacement of its inhabitants.”

Meanwhile, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom have issued a joint statement in support of the village.

The five countries have called upon the Tel Aviv regime to cancel its plan to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, stressing that its demolition and the displacement of its residents will have serious repercussions on the locals, especially on children, Press TV said.

Human rights organizations have warned that the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar village could enable the Israeli regime to press ahead with its land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in Palestinian territories irrespective of international law and regulations.

Back in July, Palestinians had turned to the ICC over Israel’s plan to demolish Khan al-Ahmar.

The Palestinians’ decision to bring the issue of Khan al-Ahmar before the ICC came a day after the administration of US President Donald Trump announced that it was closing the PLO’s diplomatic mission in Washington. The move has drawn strong reaction from Palestinians.

US stands with our friend and ally, Israel: Bolton

Meanwhile in a speech on Monday, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton announced punitive measures against any anti-Israeli action by the ICC.

Bolton threatened imposing harsh sanctions against the ICC in case it decides to move ahead with requests to investigate the US and Israel.

"The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel," Bolton told members of the conservative Federalist Society gathered at a hotel in Washington, DC. "We will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense."