Prime Minister says Israeli settlements, crimes to be submitted to ICC next week

ISTANBUL, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said on Saturday that the Palestinian leadership has decided to refer Israel’s settlement activities and all its crimes against the Palestinian people to the International Criminal Court early next week.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Yousuf Al-Othaimeen, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), at the end of the OIC extraordinary summit held in Istanbul, Hamdallah said that Palestine has joined a number of important international organizations and will continue to take whatever measures available, whether they were political, diplomatic or legal, to protect and defend the rights of the Palestinian people.

We expect the Islamic nation to take practical political and diplomatic steps at the level of the events and challenges in a way that will support the legendary steadfastness of our people and their great sacrifices for freedom and the protection of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites, he said.

The Prime Minister stressed that Jerusalem was and will always remain the eternal capital of the State of Palestine. The violence and illegal acts will not alter this historical and legal reality, he said, adding that the arrogance of power and the disrespect for Palestinian rights by the current American administration prove once again that it is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

He said that the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem does not change the holy city’s legal status as occupied territory and does not give legitimacy to its illegal annexation by Israel.

Hamdallah pointed out that the final communique issued by the extraordinary summit of the OIC stressed the need for an independent and immediate international probe into the Israeli crimes committed in the Gaza Strip. We stress the urgent need to provide international protection to the Palestinian people, who have suffered from barbaric aggression over the past century at the hand of the Israeli occupation authorities, he said.

The Prime Minister said the final communique rejected the steps by the US administration on Jerusalem, considering them null and void and constitute an aggression against the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people and an intentional attempt to undermine all peace efforts in the region as well as a threat to world peace and security.

He said the final communique also stressed that the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem is a provocative and hostile act against the Islamic world, the Palestinian national rights and international law as well as an attack on the international regime, including United Nations resolutions, and also encourages Israel, the occupying power, to intensify its illegal actions against the Palestinian people.

He said the meeting called on member states to condemn the US action publicly and to follow up on all legal and diplomatic means available to defend Palestinian rights against all hostile and illegal acts by the United States or any other party and to support the recent decisions by the Palestinian leadership.

Hamdallah said that the final communique also stressed the necessity and importance of the adopted steps and the importance of immediately working on their implementation and that they should not remain locked in the drawers. He pointed out that the OIC meeting showed support for Palestine at all levels, which reaffirms the centrality of the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem for the Islamic world.

President Erdogan, on his part, said Turkey stands with the Palestinian people “in good and bad times.”

He pointed out that the extraordinary OIC summit dealt with the illegal US step towards Jerusalem and outlined in a joint statement steps that would be taken as a “nation” towards what Washington has done.

He said the participants renewed their condemnation of Israel’s state terrorism, injustices and massacres, stressing that Palestine will not be alone.

Erdogan noted that the final communique, approved unanimously, is the common voice of the conscience of the Muslim world towards Jerusalem and a strong expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

For his part, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Youssef Al-Othaimeen, reviewed the most important decisions contained in the final communique of the OIC extraordinary summit most specifically demanding international protection for the Palestinian people and the establishment of an impartial and transparent international commission of inquiry into the crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people.

It also affirmed that East Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine and decided to allocate resources for Jerusalem to preserve its Arab and Islamic identity, in addition to supporting the two-state solution.

Source: Palestine News & Info Agency