The following are excerpts from a Palestinian Authority TV interview with Palestinian Representative at the U.N. Human Rights Council Ibrahim Khreisheh. The interview aired on July 9, 2014 on Palestinian Authority TV.
Interviewer: The popular demand is to appeal to the International Criminal Court and to sign the Rome Statue. The demand is to do this immediately. To what extent is this realistic? You are our representative in all the international organizations. What can we gain from such a step, and could we ourselves be indicted?
Ibrahim Khreisheh: I am not a candidate in any Palestinian elections, so I don’t need to win popularity among the Palestinians. The missiles that are now being launched against Israel – each and every missiles constitutes a crime against humanity whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at a civilian targets. What Israel does against Palestinian civilians also constitutes crimes against humanity. With regard to crimes of war under the Fourth Geneva Convention – the settlements, the Judaization, the checkpoints, the arrests, and so on – we find ourselves on very solid ground. However, there is a Palestinian weakness with regard to the other issue. Therefore targeting civilians – be it one civilian or a thousand – is considered a crime against humanity.
Interviewer: This why Israel resorted to an attack against Gaza…
Ibrahim Khreisheh: Appealing to the ICC requires a consensus in writing, by all Palestinian factions, so when a Palestinian is arrested for his involvement in the killing of an Israeli citizen we will not be blamed for extraditing him. Please note that many of our people in Gaza appeared on TV and said that the Israeli army warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment. In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing, because [the Israelis] followed the legal procedures. As for the missiles launched from our side… We never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall, or about the operations we carry out. Therefore, people should know more before they talk emotionally about appealing to the ICC.