Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), on Thursday reiterated that Palestine is a state for the purposes of transferring criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague.
According to Bensouda, under article 53(1) of the Rome Statute, the ICC has territorial jurisdiction over the Occupied Palestinian Territory. This territory consists of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Thus, she has a reasonable basis to initiate an investigation into the situation in those areas.
In the 60-page document, Bensouda recalls that a determination of the scope of the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine “seeks to delimit the territorial zone in which the Prosecutor may conduct her investigations into alleged crimes” without necessarily determining the disputed borders between Israel and Palestine.
This is a reiteration of Bensouda’s position in the Prosecution Request issued in January 2020.