It starts: 'Palestinians' threaten to take Israel to International Criminal Court3,000 new housing units in 'east' Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Israel also announced that it would begin planning thousands of new units in E-1, the area that connects Jerusalem to Maaleh Adumim. You might recall that the Americans asked us not to do that.
"Israel is considering several other actions in response to the unilateral Palestinian UN move," Channel 10 quoted a government official as saying.
Last week, Washington urged Israel not to allow construction in the area known as E-1 between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim as a possible response to the Palestinian UN bid.
Building in E-1, which would create contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim to the northeast beyond the Green Line, is something various Israeli governments have long wanted to do, but which US opposition has prevented.
In recent weeks, following appeals by the US and other international players not to respond in an overly harsh manner that would make a future return to negotiations even more difficult, Israel has moved from suggestions that it immediately annul the Oslo Accords and annex the large settlement blocs, to “tamer” measures, such as deducting money from taxes collected on behalf of the PA to cover the estimated NIS 800 million owed to the Israeli Electric Cooperation.I would have made it 30,000 units. There are enough people living in storage rooms in Jerusalem to more than fill those apartments.
In any event, the 'Palestinians' have responded with a threat to go to the International Criminal Court.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said that the Israeli decision was a "war crime" and an "act of aggression against the State of Palestine."
She said that the decision was a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone and outlaws the practice of total war.
Ashrawi said that Israel was obviously sending a "premeditated" message to the international community following last Thursday's UN General Assembly vote in favor of upgrading the status of the Palestinians to non-member observer state.
"Israel's message is that it is continuing to challenge the will of the international community and international law," she added. "This unilateral and systematic policy is in the context of the Israeli government's scheme to steal the lands of the State of Palestine and the world must hold Israel accountable for its aggression against the lands of the occupied State of Palestine."
PA President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters before heading back from New York to Ramallah that the Palestinians were now entitled to file a complaint against Israel with the International Criminal Court.
But, he said, "we don't want to go the court now. We will go only if we are attacked and if we have to." He said that he relayed this position to several countries, including the US.
Abbas's comment was made before the Israeli government announced plans to build new housing units.
"The Fourth Geneva Convention now applies to the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders," Abbas said. "The lands of the State of Palestine are occupied and it is forbidden to make any demographic changes in them. It is forbidden to transfer the citizens of another country to our state. The presence of Israeli settlers is in violation of international law."The good news is that Congress is on our side, and as soon as they get a chance, they will cut off all US aid to the 'Palestinians' and to the United Nations.
What could go wrong?