Hamas' parliamentary bloc has called on Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to formally apply for Palestinian membership in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
At a Tuesday press conference, bloc chairman Mohamed al-Ghoul said that joining the Rome Statute would open the door to the prosecution of Israeli "war criminals."
He cited frequent Israeli rights violations and the recent detention of scores of Palestinian lawmakers by the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
"The abduction of lawmakers in the West Bank is a war crime and a brazen violation of international norms and lawmakers' parliamentary immunity," he said.
Israeli forces have detained more than 150 Palestinian lawmakers in the West Bank since the disappearance last week of three Jewish settlers near the West Bank city of Hebron.
Israel accuses Hamas of abducting the trio – a claim the Palestinian resistance group categorically denies.
Al-Ghoul said the recent detention of Palestinian lawmakers was aimed at undermining recent Palestinian reconciliation efforts, going on to urge the PA to halt all security coordination with Israeli authorities.
A new Palestinian unity government was unveiled earlier this month in line with a deal signed in April between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.
By Nour Abu Eisha