Hamas has now signed a proposal for Palestinian application for membership at the International Criminal Court (ICC), in the Netherlands, through which legal action could be taken against Israel, a senior official of Gaza’s ruling party said, on Saturday.The declaration follows two days of talks between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashal, in Qatar, according to Ma’an News Agency.
In November of 2012, Palestine obtained the status of observer state at the United Nations, opening the door to such options as ICC investigations. Joining the ICC would also expose Palestinian factions to possible prosecution.
‘Hamas signed the document which (the) president put forth as a condition that all factions approve, before he goes to sign the Rome Statute, which paves the way for Palestine’s membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC),’ member of Hamas’ political bureau Mussa Abu Marzouq stated on his Facebook page.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP that the Islamic Jihad, the second most powerful force in Gaza, ‘is currently the only Palestinian faction that has not signed’ the document, adding that they are studying the possibility of signing.
Erekat said that ‘the document calls on president Abbas to sign the Rome Statute to join the ICC, and indicates all the signatories assume responsibility for this membership.’
Israel has signed but not ratified the Rome Statute, according to Ma’an.
Regarding Cairo-mediated ceasefire negotiations, Abu Marzouq recently stated, via Middle Eastern press, that the Israeli delegation received a paper submitted to Egypt, by the Palestinians, containing the very least of the demands they would accept without any changes.
According to Mr. Marzouq, the Israeli negotiators left Cairo during indirect talks, and that the talks have been suspended, accusing Israeli PM Netanyahu of lying twice — once when he accused Hamas of violating the recent ceasefire and again in regard to Hamas’ alleged abduction of an Israeli soldier.
Israel was recently caught making false claims linking UNRWA schools to a rocket which was fired by Hamas into Sderot Negev, killing a young child. On Friday, Israeli officials reportedly deleted tweets which likened the democratically-elected Hamas party to extremist militant organization ISIS, after receving a number of complaints about the validity of the comparison.
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Egypt is now reportedly inviting Israeli and Palestinian delegations to return to Cairo to resume talks for a long-term truce in Gaza, President Abbas announced Saturday.
‘As soon as a ceasefire goes into effect, the two sides can sit down and discuss their demands,’ Abbas said, adding that the Palestinian delegation would include Hamas as before.