Senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh on Friday urged the Palestinian leadership to sign the Rome Statute and hold Israel accountable for its crimes in Gaza at the International Criminal Court.
Haniyeh said in a statement that “signing the Rome Statute is the right for every victim and stalling is neglecting their rights and an offense to the image of Palestinians.”
The Palestinian leadership must not “neglect” the rights of the victims of Israel’s military assault on Gaza, Haniyeh said, urging President Mahmoud Abbas to sign the Rome Statute.
Hamas signed a proposal for the Palestinians to apply to join the ICC in August.
The PLO had in 2009 asked the ICC’s prosecutor’s office to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli military in Gaza.
There has so far been no probe as Palestine is not an ICC member state and its status as a state is uncertain in some international institutions.
However, the PLO in late November 2012 obtained the status of observer state at the United Nations, opening the door for an ICC investigation.
(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)