Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority will ask the International Criminal Court to open a full investigation into the legality of the Israeli settlements. Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine that the Palestinian leadership has planned a range of actions in order to halt settlement activity in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.
"Next week we will go to the International Criminal Court to demand a full investigation of the Israeli settlements," he explained. "We will also sign a range of international treaties and join institutions to provide protection for our people and our land. We will use all available means."
The foreign minister pointed out that Palestine plans to ask the UN Secretary General to prepare an early report on settlement activity and the extent of Israel's commitment to the Security Council's recent resolution 2334. Passed in December, this called on Israel to halt all of its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories immediately. Al-Maliki said that the UN Security Council should use everything within its power to stop Israeli settlement activity.
The Israeli prime minister, meanwhile, approved on Tuesday the building of 2,500 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank, two days after the Jerusalem municipality approved the construction of 566 new housing units in the occupied city.