[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] accepted documents submitted by Palestine [press release] on Tuesday which will allow Palestine to become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] in April. As a member of the ICC, Palestine will be able to bring allegations of war crimes against Israel. The Rome Statute of the ICC was signed and submitted [JURIST report] by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [official profile] last week. Israeli officials responded [JURIST report] to the political pressure by withholding the transfer of tax revenues to the government of the Palestinian Authority in the amount of $127 million. On Monday, an Israeli rights group filed a complaint [JURIST report] with the ICC accusing the Palestinian Liberation Organization [official website] of terrorism, torture and civil rights violations.
In recent months, escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine 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.