The sharp increase of Israeli settlement building since the swearing in of Donald Trump, coupled with the anger brewing in Europe over the new US president, is providing an opening for the Palestinians. Attempts to encourage the International Criminal Court (ICC) to initiate a probe into Israeli war crimes have received new life due to the rift between Washington and the European Union.
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator and secretary-general of the PLO, called Jan. 30 on the ICC to immediately open a probe into what he called “immoral” Israeli actions. “The Palestinian leadership will pursue all necessary political, legal and diplomatic steps in order to hold Israel accountable and to bring justice to our people. This includes sending all the related information to the ICC urging it to open an immediate investigation into Israel's settlement enterprise,” Erekat said in a statement posted on the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department website.