Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reject the Palestinians' request for a membership because they did not rank as a state.

"We expect the ICC to reject the hypocritical request by the Palestinian Authority, which is not a state but an entity linked to a terrorist organisation," he said in a statement on Thursday, referring to Hamas.

Netanyahu's statement came a day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a document at a meeting in Ramallah requesting membership of the International Criminal Court.

Abbas signed the document in response to a failed UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that would have set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of territories sought by the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Israel's supreme court has rejected appeals by the families of four East Jerusalem Palestinians involved in deadly anti-Israeli attacks whose homes are all facing punitive demolition orders.

In a series of rulings on Wednesday, Judge Elyakim Rubenstein rejected the appeals by four families.

But in a fifth case, it asked the state to justify its planned demolition over an attack in which the victim was wounded but not killed.

According to court documents seen by AFP on Thursday, the first case was filed by the family of Mohammed Jaabis, 23, from Jabal Mukaber, who rammed an earthmover into a bus on August 4, killing an Israeli and wounding four others.

The judge also rejected an appeal by the family of Ibrahim Akari, 38, from Shuafat refugee camp, who on November 5 rammed his car into pedestrians, killing a teenager and a policeman and wounding nine, before also being shot
dead.

Punitive punishment

Also rejected was an appeal by the families of Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, cousins from Jabal Mukaber who on November 18 attacked a Jerusalem synagogue with meat cleavers and a gun, killing four rabbis at prayer and a policeman.

But Rubenstein did not reject the appeal by the family of Muataz Hijazi, 32, from Abu Tor, who on October 29 tried to gun down a right-wing Jewish activist, critically wounding him.

Hijazi was shot dead the next morning during a police raid.

Instead, the judge ordered the state to explain why it would not halt the demolition order given that the victim did not die.

Israel used punitive house demolitions for years in the West Bank but the policy was halted in 2005 after the army said they had no proven deterrent effect and was likely to encourage violence.

But on November 6, following two deadly car attacks in a fortnight, Israel's decided to resume the policy.

Source: Agencies