Official: Israel mulls war crimes lawsuits against top Palestinians

Israel is looking at ways to prosecute senior Palestinians for war crimes in the United States and elsewhere in response to Palestinian steps to join the International Criminal Court, an Israeli official said on Saturday.

The Palestinians delivered to U.N. headquarters in New York on Friday documents on joining the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and other global treaties, saying they hoped to achieve “justice for all the victims that have been killed by Israel, the occupying power.”

The Hague-based court looks at cases of severe war crimes and crimes against humanity such as genocide.

The Israeli official said Palestinian leaders “ought to fear legal steps” after their decision to sign onto the Rome Statute.

“Israel is weighing the possibilities for large-scale prosecution in the United States and elsewhere” of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Palestinians, the official said.

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