Palestinian Justice Minister Salim Al-Saqqa affirmed that the Palestinian complaint to the ICC against Israeli war crimes had not been withdrawn, Palestinian newspaper Al-Resalah reported on Saturday.
Several sources reported on Friday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas had withdrawn the complaint under international pressure.
Al-Saqqa recognised that there is international and regional pressure on the PA to withdraw the complaint. He did not name any of the bodies exerting that pressure, but he affirmed that the complaint is still “active.”
He said that he is the only person “authorised” to deal with the complaint and he did not “withdraw” it. “I will not withdraw it,” he stressed.
The minister said that the PA had filed the complaint to the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda through the famous French lawyer Jill Denver.
Al-Saqqa said that this is the best time to prosecute Israel over war crimes committed in Gaza. “If Israel was prosecuted after the Goldstone Report, it would not have had the courage to commit crimes again,” he said.
He defended the Palestinian resistance and said that their resistance against the occupation is something guaranteed by all recognised laws.
French network Voltaire reported on Thursday that the PA President had asked the ICC to nullify the complaint because it would negatively backfire on the Palestinian issue.
In 34 days of war on Gaza, Israel has killed around 1,900 Palestinians. UN reports said that most of them were civilians, including at least 400 children. Israel also wounded around 9,000 Palestinians; most of them are also civilians.