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Palestinians mull court action

Dec. 12, 2012 at 6:17 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Authority may file charges at the International Criminal Court to halt Israeli settlement activity, President Mahmoud Abbas said.

Speaking Tuesday at a news conference in Ankara, Abbas said the Palestinians will cite their U.N. recognition as a state in defense of its territorial rights, the Turkish daily Today's Zaman said.

"We acquired many rights when we were recognized as a non-member state by the U.N. Actually, we will not be eager to consult international courts if Israel agrees to and complies with a peace agreement," Abbas said.

The Palestinian leader was referring to Israel's plans to construct housing units in the E1 area, which links Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim, and in West Bank settlements, in response to the upgrading of the Palestinian status at the United Nations.

Building in the E1 area is the crossing of all "red lines," Abbas said, and will force the Palestinian government to exercise its rights if Israel goes ahead, he said.

The Palestinians intend to acquire full membership status at the United Nations he said adding, "If Israel opts for peace, it will see that we are ready for that."

"We think that the Israeli decision to isolate the Palestinians in the West Bank by dividing the north and south with new settlements is extremely risky. It has to abandon its plans urgently and agree to a safe environment in which the two independent countries can live side-by-side. This [plan for the new settlement] is nothing but playing with fire," the Turkish daily quoted Turkish President Abdullah Gul saying.

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