RAMALLAH, Feb.8 – President Mahmoud Abbas issued Saturday a decree forming a national committee tasked with collecting documents and testimonial evidence in preparation for prosecuting Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over war crimes committed against Palestinians during the 2014 summer aggression on Gaza.
The presidential decree provides for the formation of the Higher National Committee in charge of Following-up with the ICC, a step that would be taken in cooperation with relevant public and non-governmental Palestinian institutions and ministries.
According to Article 2 of the presidential decree, the committee will be tasked with drafting and preparing the documents and cases to be submitted and referred by the State of Palestine to the ICC via a technical committee headed by the Foreign Ministry.
The decree provides that the committee shall continue consultations with the ICC, other pertinent international and local institutions as well as with legal consultants, attorneys and law firms to defend the Palestinian people in any counter lawsuits and in filing lawsuits against Israel over crimes and violations committed against the Palestinian people.
The committee is headed by Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee’s member Saeb Erekat.
President Mahmoud Abbas signed a letter of accession to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), following failure of the United Nations Security council to approve a Palestinian draft resolution calling for an end to the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state by 2017.
To be noted, Israel, on the other hand, would also be able to prosecute Palestinian factions for alleged projectile and rocket attacks on Israel during the previous three wars on Gaza.