Hamas pledges support for Palestinian ICC bid

Published August 24th, 2014 - 05:34 GMT

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has pledged support for any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), a move which will facilitate an investigation into Israeli war crimes.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, a Hamas leader, said on Saturday that he had signed a paper of support required by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas before he could proceed with the ICC push.

Abbas has said he must first have the written backing of all Palestinian factions before he could make any decision on the bid to sign the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute.

Meanwhile, Izzat Rishq, another senior Hamas official, also called on the Palestinian president to go ahead with the ICC bid “as soon as possible,” stressing that the resistance group has no fears of facing war crimes investigations.

“We are under occupation, under daily attack and our fighters are defending their people,” Rishq said, adding, “These rockets are meant to stop Israeli attacks and it is well known that Israel initiated this war and previous wars.”

In similar remarks, Hamas official Mushir al-Masri also expressed support for the Palestinian bid to join the ICC and stressed, “There is nothing to fear, the Palestinian factions are leading legitimate resistance in keeping with all international laws and standards. We are in a state of self-defense.”

Since the start of Israeli attacks on Gaza on July 8, Abbas has come under growing pressure to pave the way for a possible war crimes investigation of the Tel Aviv regime.

Earlier this month, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki met with ICC prosecutors and said there was “clear evidence” of war crimes by the Israeli regime during its deadly offensive in Gaza.

Israeli raids have so far taken the lives of some 2,100 people, mostly civilians, and wounded more than 10,200 others.

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