Abbas Convening Palestinian Leaders to Sign Request to Join ICC

Palestinian president to sign documents necessary for joining international organizations to 'protect the people in Gaza' by all legal and diplomatic means.

AP

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will convene the Palestinian leadership at 3:30 P.M. on Wednesday at his bureau, during which he expected to sign the necessary documents for joining international organizations. Inter alia, he has requested to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a senior official told Haaretz.

"What is happening in the Gaza Strip is a war crime, and it is the right of the Palestinian leadership to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza with every diplomatic means and its jurists," the official said.

Some 30 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Monday in Israel Defense Forces air strikes unleashed in response to the relentless barrage of rockets on its territory. Hundreds of targets have been attacked in Gaza, and more than 180 rockets have been fired at Israel

Abbas called a similar meeting last week as clashes erupted in East Jerusalem following the kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teen, apparently at the hands of extremist Israelis.

The Palestinian Authority appealed to the international community to rein in Israel and, in particular, to prevent an Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip in reprisal.

At the United Nations, Palestinian observer Riyad Mansour called on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon then and the president of the Security Council to intervene in what he called "Israeli aggression and the collective punishment" of the Palestinian people.