Hamas tells Abbas to join ICC 'as soon as possible' to sue Israel

Hamas tells Abbas to join ICC 'as soon as possible' to sue Israel
Sat Aug 23, 2014 18:41:38

Hamas resistance movement has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the international criminal court, a move which could expose both the group and Israel to war crimes investigations.

The decision revealed by two senior Hamas officials on Saturday would help a bid led by the Palestinian Authority Chief, Mahmoud Abbas, to join the court.

Israeli regime has been furious about the bid that could make way for holding the regime responsible for its violence against civilians and war crimes.

Abbas has said he will not make any decision on a bid without the written backing of all Palestinian factions. Last month, he obtained such support from all factions in the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The move by Hamas came after almost seven weeks of Israeli offensive on Gaza.

More than 2,090 Palestinians have been killed since the Israeli terror campaign began on 8 July, including around 500 children, and about 100,000 Gazans have been left homeless, according to United Nations figures and Palestinian officials.

Since the start of the Gaza war, Abbas has come under growing domestic pressure to pave the way for a war crimes investigation of Israel.

Last month, he told senior PLO officials and leaders of smaller political groups he would only go ahead if Hamas supported the bid.

If Abbas were to turn to the court Israel could come under scrutiny for its actions in the current Gaza war as well as decades of settlement building on war-won lands the Palestinians seek for a state.

Izzat Rishq, a senior Hamas official, said on Saturday that Hamas was not concerned about becoming a target of a war crimes investigation and urged Abbas to act "as soon as possible".

"We are under occupation, under daily attack and our fighters are defending their people," he said in a phone interview from Qatar.

"These rockets are meant to stop Israeli attacks and it is well known that Israel initiated this war and previous wars."


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