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Israeli U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor accused Erekat of spreading falsehoods and propaganda.
“One would expect a so-called ‘peace negotiator’ to be educating his own people for tolerance and coexistence,” Prosor said in a statement. “Saeb Erekat is using every microphone to incite, inflame, and demonize the State of Israel.”
Erekat said the Palestinians had finished preparation to join a raft of international bodies, such as the International Criminal Court, but would not act yet in order to give Kerry and President Barack Obama “a chance” to pursue Middle East peace.
“We want to give a chance to all nations who have a common denominator of achieving two states on the 1967 lines,” Erekat said. “There is a chance, there is a good opportunity now.”
If the Palestinians were to join the ICC, they could file complaints with the court accusing Israel of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious crimes.
The Palestinians are able to apply to join the ICC and other international bodies after the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine on Nov. 29.
It was a diplomatic setback for the United States and Israel, which were joined by only a handful of countries in voting against upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s observer status to “non-member state” from “entity,” like the Vatican.