In a first, Palestinian courts will start within days to consider cases related to violations committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinian citizens, a Minister said here.
Speaking to the state-run WAFA news agency on Wednesday, Justice Minister Mohammed al-Shalaldeh said that his Ministry in cooperation with other government agencies and civil society institutions, will facilitate the task of victims of Israeli settlers to take legal actions against the settlers.
According to the Palestinian Basic Law, any citizen whose rights are violated has the right to file a lawsuit at the Palestinian courts.
He indicated that work is underway to collect criminal evidence and affidavits to file the first lawsuit against known settlers for committing crimes and violations against the Palestinians citizens of the old town of Hebron and in Burin village, south of Nablus.
The Minister said that the Palestinian cabinet has decided "to form a national team to hold accountable and prosecute settlers who commit crimes against the Palestinian people before the Palestinian courts following the decision by President Mahmoud Abbas to forgo the Israeli and American agreements and understandings".
The Minister said that "according to the national legislation in Palestine, and based on the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure, there are provisions for the prosecution of a foreigner, which applies to the settler who resides within the Palestinian territorial jurisdiction over the occupied land".
"Therefore we have the right to sue him based on the notion that settlement is a war crime, punishable by law in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, and based on the statute of the International Criminal Court," he told WAFA news.
Israeli media reported that it would be the first time since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994 that Palestinian courts look into cases against Israeli citizens.