PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he will go to the International Court of Justice if Israel goes through with the planned demolition of Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank.
Speaking at a meeting of the PLO Executive Committee on Saturday, Abbas discussed a number of recent actions which the Palestinians will seek to address in the international court.
In addition to the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, Abbas said the Palestinians will also seek for the court to address Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, U.S. funding cuts to UNRWA refugee agency, and the violation of the status quo agreements concerning Israel’s plans to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
“There are two important issues: the issue of Khan Al-Ahmar, whose population are at risk of displacement. This issue, besides the increase in Israeli settlement construction, is of utmost importance and danger,” Abbas said, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
“We have brought the case to the ICC and will also submit it to the International Court of Justice,” Abbas declared.
The announcement comes after Palestinians announced earlier in the week that they would be taking Israel to the International Criminal Court over claims that the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar constituted a war crime.
Khan al-Ahmar has been the source of significant conflict in recent months. The conflict has elevated significantly since the Israeli High Court ruling on September 9 which stated that the temporary order preventing the razing of the village during the court hearings would be canceled within seven days.
The High Court injunction preventing the demolition was lifted last Tuesday and local and international activists have been on edge pending the suspectedly imminent demolition.
Diplomats from Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the European Union all expressed concern over the demolition of the village, which became a matter for international attention after officials from those nations were barred by Israeli police from visiting a school there.
“Demolitions undermine prospect for two state solution and are against international law,” UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov said on Twitter Wednesday, condemning the demolition plans
Last week, the European Union parliament denounced Israeli action and passed a resolution declaring that Israel’s destruction of the Bedouin village and eviction of residents constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law and may well even be considered a war crime.