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Palestine: Continued Settlements Would Leave Us 'No Other Choice' But to Take Israel to ICC

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki tells UN Security Council that continued settlements in East Jerusalem would be crossing red line

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The Bab Al Shams protest village before it was destroyed by Israeli forces (Photo: Bab Al-Shams Facebook page)

Continued settlement expansion in Jerusalem would leave us "no other choice" than to take Israel to the International Criminal Court, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the UN Security Council, Malki said:

If Israel would like to go further by implementing the E1 (settlement) plan and the other related plans around Jerusalem then yes, we will be going to the ICC. We have no other choice. It depends on the Israeli decision.

The proposed E1 area settlements would slice key portions of Palestinian land away from the occupied West Bank and further thwart a two-state possibility. The proposal also sparked the Palestinian protest village of Bab al-Shams, or 'Gate of the Sun' to draw attention to the illegal settlements. The protest village was prompted raided by Israeli forces.

Malki said that settlements in that area would be "trespassing the red lines," and told reporters after the UN meeting that Palestinians are "absolutely not going to tolerate any construction in that particular area."

The UN views all West Bank settlements as illegal, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that any "settlement plans for E-1 must be rescinded."

Also on Wednesday, US Ambassador Susan Rice criticized the placard that sat in front of Malki reading "State of Palestine," saying:

[...] in our view, any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’ in the United Nations, including the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ on the placard in the Security Council or the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ in the invitation to this meeting or other arrangements for participation in this meeting, do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state.

At the end of November, Palestine was granted non-member observer-state status at the United Nations General Assembly after an overwhelming majority voted to approve the designation.

Rice said Wednesday that the US didn't recognize the November vote "as bestowing Palestinian ‘statehood’ or recognition."

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