Palestine defies US pressure, and renews ICC push against Israel 'war crimes'
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has announced a fresh push against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), a day after the United States said it was closing its Washington mission and threatened to sanction the court's judges.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said on Tuesday he has submitted a new complaint to over an Israeli "war crimes" against a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, which faces imminent demolition.
"We will continue to go to the ICC now matter how extreme the bullying and blackmail of the US becomes," Erekat was quoted as saying in the official WAFA news agency.
"The complaint stressed the importance of preventing Israel from demolishing and forcibly displacing the residents of Khan al-Ahmar," he said.
Israel's Supreme Court last week rejected petitions against the demolition the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.
If the move goes ahead it will leave over 170 Palestinians, including 92 children displaced.
Erekat also said the PLO has asked the ICC to speed up a preliminary probe into other Israeli war crimes, such as the massacre of at least 175 protesters in Gaza by Israeli snipers since March.
The latest submission came a day after the US confirmed it would close the PLO's office in Washington, the highest Palestinian representation in the country, amid worsening relations between the two.
The White House cited the Palestinians' ICC campaign and what it said was their unwillingness to negotiate.
The Palestinian leadership cut off contact with the administration of President Donald Trump after he recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December.
Trump's administration has also cut more than $500 million in aid to Palestinians, including to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, since January.
Palestinian leaders say the administration is blatantly biased in favour of Israel and is seeking to blackmail Ramallah into accepting the White House's moves.
On Monday, John Bolton, national security adviser to Trump, attacked the ICC, threatening to sanction judges and other officials if they moved against US soldiers or those of key allies.