An Israeli minister has called on his government to dismantle the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in a reaction to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to launch an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.
Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give the Palestinian Authority a 48-hour ultimatum to pull its petition or see the Ramallah-based political authority “torn down.”
“The advantages of the PA's existence are not (and have not been for a long time) worth the diplomatic damage it causes us,” Smotrich stressed.
“It is causing great harm to Israel in international forums, and it is better for Israel to work towards its collapse.”
The minister asked Netanyahu to respond to the Hague court's decision with a series of measures that violate international law, such as the evacuation, demolition, and removal of the Palestinian Khan al-Ahmar neighborhood and the expansion of settlements.
His request comes in line with the terrorist attacks carried out by the “price-tag” gangs against Palestinians and their properties.
Smotrich pointed out that the US support Israel receives is sufficient for it to carry on with its projects and plans.
It is noteworthy that Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda said Friday there was reasonable basis to investigate alleged war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Responding to Smotrich’s remarks, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued on Monday a presidential decree granting competent Palestinian authorities the powers to prepare legal documents to complete ICC’s case.
Under the virtue of the decree issued, PA Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad al-Maliki said teams were put together from all disciplines and work has started with partners from civil society, human rights institutions, and the Bar Association, as well as the international bar team, to prepare the files for the ICC.
According to Maliki, the legal work has quadrupled to make the mission a success, stressing that all options and possibilities will be studied to prepare for any possible pre-emptive step by Israel towards the ICC.