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Erekat: Palestinian-Israeli relations at point of no return

Jan. 19, 2015 2:40 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 19, 2015 6:19 P.M.)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- Relations between Israeli and Palestinian officials have reached a "point of no return," PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Monday.

The top PLO official made the remarks during a meeting with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry on Monday.

Erekat had made similar comments during meetings with both Japan's representative office and the US consul general Michael Ratney in recent days.

The PLO official said joining the International Criminal Court would help change the status quo.

"This is definitely a new stage in the full sense of the word. The Israeli government, however, is trying through collective punishments and threats to keep the status quo and continue to build settlements, give dictations and go ahead with its policy of targeted assassinations, detentions and closures fearing no accountability, as it considers itself above the law."

The International Criminal Court's prosecutor on Friday opened an initial probe to see if war crimes have been committed against Palestinians, including during last year's Gaza war.

Palestine's move to join the ICC is seen as part of a shift in strategy to internationalize its campaign for statehood and move away from the stalled US-led peace process.

The US has branded the ICC move as "counterproductive."

Israel responded by delaying the transfer of $127 million in taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinians in retaliation for the attempt to press war crimes charges.
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