[JURIST] Palestinian government officials on Friday presented [UN News Centre report] documents for accession to 16 international conventions and treaties to the UN. The documents include an adoption of the Rome Statute [text] of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], which was signed [JURIST report] by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [official profile] last week. Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, Riyad Mansour, stated, “This is a very significant step … to seek justice through a legal option.” The documents are currently being reviewed [press release] by the UN in an effort to determine the next steps in the process. Once the process is finished, the Palestinian government plans to take legal action against Israel with the ICC for the killing of 2,200 civilians in Gaza last summer.
In recent months conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory has led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians, prompting the UN and the international community to call for an end to the conflict. In November UN human rights experts urged [JURIST report] the Israeli government to cease its use of house demolition as a punitive measure in response to alleged acts of violence by Palestinians. In September UN experts stated [JURIST report] that there has not been a single child in the Gaza Strip area unaffected by the ongoing conflict. In August UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967 [official website] formally requested access [JURIST report] to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory to gather first-hand information into the human rights situation in Gaza. In 2013 another UN human rights expert called on Israel [JURIST report] to cease all settlement activity and immediately withdraw settlers from Palestinian territories.