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Official: Palestine mulling ICC if UN takes no action on settlements

Dec. 21, 2012 10:48 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 23, 2012 11:27 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestine may complain to the International Criminal Court if the UN Security Council does not take action over Israeli settlement plans, the political adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday.

Nimr Hammad told Ma'an that several European countries were lobbying the US to take a serious position against Israeli settlements at the 15-member council.

On Wednesday, the US was the only council member that did not make a statement opposing Israeli plans to expand Jewish settlements around Jerusalem.

The other 14 countries on the council issued statements as a "Plan B" after it was clear the US would veto a resolution on the issue, India's UN ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri said.

Hammad said if the UN Security Council did not take action against Israeli settlements, Palestine would consider complaining to the International Criminal Court, an option made available by Palestine's admission as a non-member state to the UN in November.

Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

The Security Council resumed talks on a resolution condemning settlements after Israel said last month it would build 3,000 more homes in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. Israel has since announced plans to build thousands more units.

But it became apparent that the United States was unwilling to support a resolution, diplomats said.

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