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And so, the process that began on April 1, 2015, when the Palestinian Authority requested to join the ICC, has paved the way for its ability to sue Israel three years later for "war crimes".

"This referral is Palestine's test to the global mechanism of accountability and respect for worldwide law", he added.

Maliki said the Palestinian move was "due to the intensification of the rate and the severity of the crimes against our people", including the targeting of "unarmed protestors in the Gaza Strip".

Leading Western states regularly visited by Israeli officials have so far strictly resisted calls by human rights groups to apprehend the officials over the regime's atrocities against Palestinians.

"Israel expects the ICC and its prosecutor not to yield to Palestinian pressure, and stand firm against continued Palestinian efforts to politicise the court and to derail it from its mandate", the Israeli statement said.

Worldwide law prohibits the transfer of civilian populations to occupied territories, and the global community overwhelmingly views the settlements as illegal.

The ICC launched a preliminary probe in 2015 into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and the Palestinian territories, in the wake of the Gaza war.

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The Muslim leaders at the end of the summit issued a statement condemning Israel's killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters during the inauguration of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem a "provocation" against the entire Islamic world. He did not say anything upon entering but after submitting the request he said it would be an important test of the ICC's accountability.

Said "war crimes" are twofold: the settlement enterprise, which the PA argues "encompasses all policies and practices created to forcibly transfer Palestinians and allow for and perpetuate the unlawful transfer of Israeli citizens to the occupied territory and facilitate their continued presence there, including planning, construction, expansion, maintenance, security and development of settlements", as well as the blockade on the Gaza Strip, where Israel has dismantled all of its settlements 13 years ago. More than 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish outposts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In territory between Jordan River and Green Line, which set borders before 1967, some 400,000 Israelis have been installed today in 131 "authorized" sites and in or 97 declared "illegal" by Israeli Government itself.

Following Oslo agreements of 1993, Palestinian Authority maintains a oretical exclusive control over so-called Area A - big cities and ir environment - which represents 18% of West Bank.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership of Fatah has frozen ties with the White House over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

This is the first time such a submission has been made by Palestine. It also claims that settlements can be torn down and therefore do not prejudice the final status of the territory.

It notes that in the case of Gaza, for instance, it uprooted all settlements there when it withdrew in 2005.

According to reports, the referral seeks an investigation into Israeli policies in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.