The Palestinian Authority will formally join the International Criminal Court on April 1, but – following Israel’s decision on Friday to release frozen tax revenues – is not expected at this time to take steps against Israel in the ICC regarding settlement construction.
In addition, The Jerusalem Post has learned that while the ICC prosecutor has – at the PA’s request – opened a preliminary examination on alleged Israeli war crimes during Operation Protective Edge over the summer, the PA is not expected at this time to take additional legal steps in the ICC regarding the Gaza operation.
As a result of Israel’s decision to free up the funds, the PA also does not intend now to stop its security cooperation with Israel, the Post also learned.
It was the PA’s steps to join the ICC at the end of December that led Israel to freeze the monthly tax transfers in the first place.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday that, at the recommendation of the security establishment, the money that has accrued since then, some $500 million, will be freed up, though the PA’s electric, water and hospital bills to Israel will be subtracted from those funds.
One government official said that no decision has yet been made regarding whether March’s revenues will be transferred, an indication that this will depend on whether the PA does indeed not pursue other moves at this time at the ICC, and whether it maintains its security cooperation with Israel.So if you squeeze them hard enough, they eventually cry 'uncle.' There's a lesson here for the future.
With the security establishment recommending for weeks the transfer of the frozen funds in order to reduce tension in the West Bank, it was expected for some time that this move would take place relatively soon after the March 17 election.