TEL AVIV – Fresh from securing non-member observer state status at the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority is now consulting European lawyers about how to sue Israel at the International Criminal Court, WND has learned.

The PA has been talking to the European legal counsel about the possibility of bringing war crimes charges against Israel in the future, according to informed Middle Eastern security sources.

The sources said the threat of action at the ICC could be used as a bargaining chip against Israel during any future negotiations.

In 2009, a so-called U.N. fact-finding team led by South African judge Richard Goldstone accused both the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

The report warned that if both sides did not investigate their conduct, the allegations could be brought to the ICC.

In April 2011, Goldstone retracted his report’s claim that it was Israeli government policy to deliberately target citizens.

The IDF routinely drops warning leaflets and even leaves voicemail messages in areas where it may carry out operations. The Israeli army is known for the care it takes to ensure against civilian casualties.

Hamas, on the other hand, has been widely condemned for its use of civilians as human shields. The terror group has fired hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Jewish cities and operates from densely populated zones in Gaza.

WND reported last month how in an attempt to elude the Israeli army, Muhammed Shamalah, a senior leader of Hamas’s “military wing,” disguised himself as a journalist by driving a car labeled with TV tags.

Last month, WND published a photo that shows how a missile launch site in the Gaza Strip was set up by Hamas just half a block from a mosque and children’s playground.

Just last week, Mahmoud al-Zahar, one of the top leaders of Hamas in Gaza, explained in an interview how a hospital located next to his home helped to ensure against Israel targeting him for assassination.

The U.N. General Assembly last week voted to grant the PA its upgraded status, a move that many see as paving the way for the international body’s eventual full recognition of a Palestinian state.

With its new status, the PA will no longer need to make special requests nor ask for sponsors to address the General Assembly.

The move also paves the way for the Palestinians to join the ICC and pursue action against Israel in a legal forum where decisions are binding.

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