A senior Palestinian politician said that the Palestinian Authority should not join the International Criminal Court because it could raise questions about shooting Israelis — none of whom are innocent, he noted.
According to a translation provided by Palestinian Media Watch on Wednesday, the comments from Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, were made during an interview on Lebanese television last week.
“I’m against signing the Rome Statute (i.e., joining the International Criminal Court) as long as our country is occupied,” Zaki said. “If tomorrow you shoot, they’ll say you signed an agreement. This is not meant for people who want to liberate their country… I think the [Palestinian] people’s weapon is pure — they don’t want to kill.”
“By the way, there are no innocent Israelis,” he added.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has debated for months whether to join the court, a step that would transform his relations with Israel from tense to openly hostile and could also strain the PA’s ties with the United States, which opposes the ICC bid. Last week Hamas said it backs the idea.
Zaki has made provocative statements in the past.
In March he told Palestinian TV that God would enable the killing of all Israelis.
“These Israelis have no religion and no principles; they are an advanced instrument of evil.” Zaki said TV, according to PMW. “I believe that God will gather them so we can kill them.”
Zaki ended with a phrase attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: “I am informing the murderer of his death.”
In 2011, he called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama “scumbags,” saying that the eventual Palestinian goal of annihilating Israel must be carried out gradually. In 2009 Zaki told Lebanese TV that the two-state solution would lead to the collapse of Israel.
Elhanan Miller contributed to this report.