March 7, 2013 - 1:00am

A senior Palestinian official on Thursday condemned remarks by Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird to cut aid if the Palestinians take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"We do not know why Canada is showing all this hostility against us," said Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian peace negotiator.

"Those who fear international courts must force Israel to stop its crimes," he said.

On Sunday, Baird threatened that there will be consequences in the Canadian-Palestinian relations if a complaint that was filed by Palestinians goes to the ICC.

"We are undertaking a normal review of our program with the PA (Palestinian Authority) based on outcomes achieved with taxpayer dollars, as we do with all of our programs," Baird said in Washington during an annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Erekat said "the Zionist minister should have talked about the racism and discrimination Israel conducts against the Palestinians. "

Canada was among nine countries that voted against the UN resolution to upgrade the Palestinian status to a non-member observer state in November last year. However, 138 countries supported the vote.

Canada and the United States have clearly warned the Palestinians of financial consequences if they complain to the ICC.

The Palestinians are considering a complaint against the Israeli government's decisions to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017