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Report: Israel trying to prevent Palestine joining ICC
Published Tuesday 27/11/2012 (updated) 28/11/2012 16:52
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Palestinians wave flags during a rally in support of President Mahmoud
Abbas' efforts to secure a diplomatic upgrade at the UN, in Ramallah,
Nov, 25. (Reuters/Marko Djurica)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israel is seeking the addition of a clause in the PLO's UN bid rejecting membership of the International Criminal Court, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday.

The UN General Assembly is expected to vote on Thursday on a resolution upgrading the PLO's status at the world body to a non-member state.

Israel and the US oppose the move, and Israel had asked the US and EU countries not to enter talks with the PLO on the bid, Haaretz reported.

Following warnings from senior US officials that President Mahmoud Abbas would not back down from the bid, Israel is negotiating with Washington to alter the wording of the resolution, the report said.

Haaretz reports that Israel wants the PLO to include a clause stating it will not request membership of the International Criminal Court, where it could charge Israeli leaders with war crimes.

Israel is also seeking a clause stating that the decision grants the PLO no sovereignty over occupied Palestinian land and a commitment to renew negotiations without preconditions.

Britain has indicated that it will support Abbas' UN bid but wants assurances that the resolution will not be used to join the ICC or other UN bodies, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Britain is also hoping Abbas does not use the resolution as a basis for seeking full membership of the UN Security Council, the FT added.

A senior Western diplomat said Monday that the Palestinian Authority has circulated a revised draft of the proposed UN resolution.

The diplomat said only minor changes were made to the text distributed on Monday, which seems certain to win UN approval as the General Assembly is mostly made up of post-colonial states historically sympathetic to the Palestinians.

If approved, the UN resolution would "accord to Palestine Non-member Observer State status in the United Nations, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations as the representative of the Palestinian people."

The latest draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, also reiterated the Palestinian Authority's commitment to the "two-state solution" in which Israel and an independent Palestinian state would co-exist in peace.

Israeli leaders have proposed several responses to a successful UN bid, including toppling Abbas and refusing to transfer Palestinian tax revenue which Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

A senior Israeli official told Haaretz that Israel plans to withhold Palestinian revenue immediately after a vote.

The move is likely to be temporary as it could leave the PA unable to pay its security services, which coordinate with Israeli forces in the West Bank.

The United States has also suggested that funding for the Palestinians -- and possibly some funding for the United Nations -- could be at risk if the PLO seeks the upgrade.

"We think the money should go forward in the interest of the Palestinian people, regardless of whether their leaders make bad decisions," US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Monday.

"That said .. we have said to the Palestinians, that they should not count on a favorable response from the (US) Congress, if they go forward with this."

A 1990s US law prohibits American funding to UN organizations that grant full membership to any group that does not have "internationally recognized attributes" of statehood. The PLO is not seeking UN membership.

Reuters contributed to this report
1 ) Big Mike / USA
27/11/2012 16:00
Too late and a dollar short for any major changes now 2 days before vote that the PA clearly have a majority in. US is last minuet posturing to save face for its radical position change on the issue, Statehood to the green line with sovereignty and access to the ICC, from all indications, is inevitable at this point!!!

2 ) Paul / USA
27/11/2012 16:01
So,,,, if Israel can not win the game it wants to change the rules so the other side does not get the promised prize awarded the winner. What a cheap shot!!! You Go!!! Mr. Abbas.

3 ) KAGH / US
27/11/2012 16:21
Too funny because Israel just essentially admitted it knows it is breaking international law

4 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
27/11/2012 16:53
The first 3 comments are from American experts in breaking international laws. Mike, Paul and Kagh sit in their settler homes on occupied Native American lands - that is a fact. There was no international law to protect the natives when Mike, Paul and Kagh's predecessors invaded, occupied and committed genocide against the native nations. Their justification is that might was indeed right. The whities won, the injuns lost, and American is now "legal". So preach to us today, guys. We admire you.

5 ) @ Kagh-3 / NEVER TO COME
27/11/2012 17:13
It will be "too funny" after the UN Bid, when each Qassam, Grad, & Fajr-5 rocket, is a Palestine government War Crime, and:
1) Israel charging the Palestine government at the ICC, and
2) Negotiations NOT happening, since Palestine's government will still insist on the same "settlement preconditions", which Israel still reject, while
3) the UN, Qurtet, and the World still continue to watch, and
4) Palestinians still to wait for a Real State that will NEVER TO COME !!!!

6 ) Haghal Jaqul / Iran
27/11/2012 17:15
So Israel is saying if Palestine does what they did in 1947, their government must be put under sanctions and destroyed... Now I see the how the only democracy in Mideast works...

7 ) Sarah / Holland
27/11/2012 17:53
Kagh/us right!!

8 ) Pitt / Poland
28/11/2012 00:33
@Brian Cohen / Israel Do you want to tell us that you feel that you are like occupants an invaders of America and you wish to share "blood ties" with them or what?

9 ) gabi / australia
28/11/2012 01:25
Brian Cohen - the old "you did it so we can too" argument? Not the same. In the US, as in Australia, they ALL get the vote.

10 ) Wendy Joseph / Australia
28/11/2012 04:45
@Brian Cohen/ Israel You sound exactly like the racist scumbags that you scream about all the time. Israel doesn't OWN Semitism, nor Anti-Semitism. The Palestinians are Semites too, and oh boy! Don't you just know it. Also, to justify Israel's behaviour by referring to the unfinished (oh yes it is!) business between the invaders and the First Nations of Turtle Island is using semantics in the worst possible way. You Zionists need to seriously consider a return to Europe! The Misrahim never left!

11 ) Raf / Palestine
28/11/2012 06:21
Israel and its allies trying to prevent Palestine to become non member It's a matter of time that Palestinian succeed to get their rights

12 ) Muayyad / Palestine
28/11/2012 10:13
Why didn't you publish my 6 comments? Strange, it seems the patriots here are censored while you take delight in publishing racist and anti-Palestine comments.

13 ) Robby / Ireland
28/11/2012 21:01
The US should be worried about the Palestinian bid being passed, who's name is on the illegal munitions used by Israel in Gaza ? As for Israel, your avarice and arrogance is your own undoing, see you in the Hague.

14 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/11/2012 00:11
To Brian Cohen #4 'The first 3 comments are from American experts in breaking international laws. Mike, Paul and Kagh sit in their settler homes on occupied Native American lands - that is a fact. ' And when Israel supporters have absolutely nothing better to say, they retreat to 'ye olde Indian argument.' That too is a fact.

15 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/11/2012 00:14
Re Brian Cohen #4. Leaving aside the validity of his 'Indian' argument otherwise, ol' Brian might want to note two things. Our appropriation of Indian lands WORKED because (a) disease wiped out most of the Indians, and (b) we were all too insistent on the survivors assimilating. Neither applies to Israel, and she is doomed.

16 ) Paul / Scotland
30/11/2012 04:02
If we gave Israel a country by breaking up and stealing part of Palestine then why are Israel not content with this? Why do they want more of the land than they were given and why do they not want Palestine to be recognized under the terms of the original agreement? They were given a country that never belonged to them - they claim it does because its written in some old book. Palestinians actually are entitled to the land and I hope that this paves the way for them to get it!
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