Palestinian Assistant Minister for Multilateral Affairs Ammar Hijazi said the recent Gaza violence pushed the Palestinians into going to the court, adding that it "requires that we take action and this is why we moved in this regard".
Israel, which came under intense worldwide scrutiny over its handling of violence on the border on Monday and Tuesday, has accused Hamas of using the several weeks of mass protests as a cover for launching terror attacks against Israeli troops and civilians. No injuries were reported, according to the IDF.
"While the ICC can indict suspects, it has no police force and has to rely on cooperation from member states to enforce arrest warrants", the paper added.
Following his meeting with Ms Bensouda in The Hague on Tuesday, Mr Maliki said the Palestinians wanted her to "open without delay an investigation into all crimes" allegedly committed in occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza since June 2014. The ICC has recognized "Palestine" as a member state.
Both the Israeli government and its US backers are under fire by human rights organizations and the worldwide legal community for the ongoing occupation as well as the killing of more than 60 people by IDF soldiers who opened fire on demonstrators in Gaza, also last Monday. But critics say the probes rarely lead anywhere.
"The purported Palestinian referral is legally invalid and the ICC lacks jurisdiction over the Israeli-Palestinian issue, since Israel is not a member of the court and because the Palestinian Authority is not a state", an Israeli Foreign Ministry statement said.
Israel says it takes a "severe view" of the Palestinian request to the International Criminal Court for a probe into alleged Israeli crimes against the Palestinians and is urging ICC to reject what it called a "cynical step".
Denuclearise or suffer fate of Gaddafi: Trump threatens Kim
Former US negotiator Joel Wit said "This is probably the wrong time to be making threats, three weeks before the summit". He said North Korean officials are discussing logistical details about the meeting "as if nothing happened ".
In 2004, the U.N.'s highest judicial organ, the International Court of Justice, ruled in an advisory opinion that the settlements breached international law. Security Council also declared the settlements to be illegal. Israel captured both territories from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements that are illegal under the global law, which prohibits construction on occupied land.
Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to Palestinian negotiators, told Al Jazeera that while "this has been an option for the PA for quite some time, the significance now is that there is enough pressure on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to do something".
Foreign Minister Riad Malki submitted a so-called "referral", which he said detailed evidence of crimes committed on occupied Palestinian territory. It also claims that settlements can be torn down and therefore do not prejudice the final status of the territory.
The latter has also routinely been threatened by the United States and Israel not to make any moves in the ICC.
While the Gaza withdrawal removed some 8,000 settlers, the much larger population in the West Bank and east Jerusalem would be extremely hard, if not impossible, to move.