(JTA) – The chief Palestinian negotiator expects Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next Israeli government and has declared that the Palestinians in turn will push forward with legal efforts at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“It is clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will form the next government, and for that, we say clearly that we will go to the Hague Tribunal, we will accelerate, continue and intensify” diplomatic efforts, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Agence France-Presse.
President Mahmoud Abbas formally applied for admission to the ICC on Jan. 1, and the Palestinians are slated to fully join the court on April 1. In the meantime, the ICC has begun the process for opening an investigation into potential Israeli war crimes during the 2014 Gaza conflict.
Israel has responded by withholding more than $400 million in taxes and customs revenue from the Palestinians.
Hamas likewise argued that the election results call for a more confrontational approach with Israel, according to a report by Deutsche Presse-Agenteur. The news agency quoted a statement by Hamas official Ismail Radwan, who said, “The results should be enough to convince the Palestinian Authority and Fatah Party to forget about the choice of keeping the absurd negotiations.”
In the closing days of the election campaign, Netanyahu declared that he would not allow the creation of a Palestinian state if he remained prime minister.