March 8, 2021
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. (File photo: Reuters/Alaa Badarneh/Pool)
An indictment of Israel by the International Criminal Court would open the door to US companies and organizations being hauled before the court, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said last week, adding that the United States had exerted "unparalleled" pressure against the PA's 2015 request to join the ICC.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, in an interview that aired on Palestine TV on March 1, Shtayyeh said, "Before we turned to the ICC, there had been tremendous and unparalleled pressure."
"I was in New York when a delegation from the State Department came. They left Washington, DC, at 6 o'clock in the morning so that they could meet [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas in New York. The reason was that our membership in the ICC is not only against Israel," he said.
"If Israel is indicted, all the parties involved in the Israeli actions against the Palestinians will also be indicted. This means that we can also take the American companies and organizations that support Israel to court. Hence, the deputy secretary of state said to President Abu Mazen [Abbas]: 'If you become members in the ICC, it will be like obtaining nuclear weapons.'"
Neither Israel nor the United States is signatories to the Rome Statute from which the ICC derives its authority.
MEMRI further cited the Palestinian premier as saying that the PA's appeal to the ICC had "shattered" Israel's claimed "monopoly on pain."
"Israel was basically purporting that the Jews in the world were the only ones who were tormented by the Nazis and so on.
"Our appeal to the ICC demonstrates and proves that the Palestinian people suffer, their prisoners have been tortured and killed, Palestinians have been martyred and displaced. — So we shattered the monopoly on pain that Israel purported to have," he added.