World

Palestine intends to sue US for backing Israel annexation plans

Ramallah, May 7 (IANS) The Palestinian Authority intends to file lawsuits against the US for supporting Israel's plans to annex Palestinian lands in the West Bank, a top official said here.

“We are looking for legal mechanisms to hold the US government accountable in committing war crimes against the Palestinians together with Israel,” Justice Minister Mohammed al-Shalaldeh told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.

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The US' support for Israel's plan to annex Palestinian lands in the West Bank is one of these crimes, he noted.

“Recognizing the occupier's sovereignty on the occupied lands is a war crime in itself, and according to the international law, no state has the right to recognize the sovereignty of any occupying state on others' land,” al-Shalaldeh said.

In addition, lawsuits will be filed against international companies that operate at Israeli settlements, the Minister added.

The Palestinian government had filed a lawsuit against the US in the International Court of Justice for violating the Vienna Treaty of 1961 after it moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018.

Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has issued a report that confirmed the jurisdiction of the ICC to investigate in Palestine, al-Shalaldeh told Xinhua.

Also on Wednesday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman announced that imposing Israeli sovereignty on parts of the West Bank “is Israel's decision”.

It was also reported that Friedman said Washington was preparing to recognize Israel's plans in the coming weeks.

Imposing Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish settlements and the annexation of the Jordan Valley took major parts of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election campaign in the March 2 elections.

Netanyahu has signed a power-sharing deal to form a unity government with former opponent, Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, which will allow him to bring a proposal to impose Israeli sovereignty on the settlements to the approval of the government starting from July.

However, the agreement also requires that the Israeli government will not take moves that harm prospects for peace with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians strongly object Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank, which was seized by Israel in a 1967 war.

Israel has controlled it ever since, despite international criticism.

–IANS

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