Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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National and World

December 4, 2012

Palestinian war crimes case faces long road

(Continued)

BLUEFIELD —

The Palestinians would also face heavy political pressure not to go to court. The U.S. Senate, for instance, is currently debating legislation that would cut off millions of dollars in assistance to the Palestinians and close their diplomatic offices in Washington if they file charges against Israel. The legislation is expected to be voted on in the coming days.

A senior Palestinian official said the Palestinians are in "no hurry" to rush to the ICC, in part because they are pleased with the heavy international condemnations of Israel's latest settlement plans but also because of fears of antagonizing the U.S.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing internal high-level deliberations, said the Palestinians are now focused on repairing ties with the U.S., which sided with Israel in opposing last week's U.N. resolution. Yet he noted that the Palestinians have refused calls to promise not to go to the ICC.

In a letter to the U.N. secretary-general on Monday, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations complained that "all Israeli settlement activities are illegal ... and thus constitute a war crime." Yet, reflecting the Palestinian thinking, the letter did not threaten to pursue the matter in the ICC.

___

Corder reported from The Hague, Netherlands. Amy Teibel and Lauren E. Bohn in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

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