Palestine formally joins ICC News
Palestine formally joins ICC

[JURIST] Palestine became the 123rd state party [press release] to the Rome Statute Wednesday, officially joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The Rome Statute of the ICC was signed and submitted [JURIST report] by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [official profile] in January. A ceremony Wednesday included many ICC officials, judges, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, Dr. Riad Al-Malki. Al-Malki stated in regards to Palestine joining the ICC, “[a]s Palestine formally becomes a State Party to the Rome Statute today, the world is also a step closer to ending a long era of impunity and injustice. Indeed, today brings us closer to our shared goals of justice and peace.” Palestine could now pursue an ICC complaint against Israel for war crimes, but only ICC prosecutors and judges can decide what cases will be pursued.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine [JURIST news archive] has lasted for years and caused [BBC timeline] numerous casualties on both sides. In January the Israel Law Center filed a complaint [JURIST report] with the ICC, accusing Palestinian leaders of war crimes including torture, terrorism and civil rights violations. In December Amnesty International [advocacy website] declared that Israel’s air strikes [JURIST report] on landmark buildings in Gaza were deliberate war crimes that led to the injury of many civilians. In September the Israel Law Center asked the ICC to open an investigation [JURIST report] into war crimes allegedly committed by Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal [BBC profile].