ICC prosecutor rejects Palestinian recognition (BBC) British Broadcasting Company) 3 April 2012 Last updated at 15:53 GMT)
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The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected
a request by the Palestinian Authority to recognise the court´s
The decision blocks a move to have the war crimes tribunal based at
The Hague investigate the 2008-2009 Gaza war.
The prosecutor said it was up to "relevant bodies" at the UN or ICC
member countries to determine whether Palestine qualified as
Only then could it sign the court´s founding treaty, the Rome Statute.
An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said it welcomed Friday´s
decision, and noted that it did not recognise the ICC´s jurisdiction.
In January 2009, the Palestinian Authority´s justice minister lodged
a declaration with the ICC unilaterally recognising its jurisdiction
for "acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002".
The ICC´s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said then that it
would take some time to decide whether the PA was legally entitled to
On Tuesday, the Office of the Prosecutor announced it could not act
on the Palestinian declaration because Article 12 of the Rome Statute
established that only a "state" could confer jurisdiction on the
court and deposit an instrument of accession with the UN secretary
"In instances where it is controversial or unclear whether an
applicant constitutes a ´state´, it is the practice of the secretary
general to follow or seek the General Assembly´s directives on the
matter," the office said.
"This is reflected in General Assembly resolutions, which provide
indications of whether an applicant is a ´state´."
Although Palestine has been recognised as a state in bilateral
relations by more than 130 governments and certain international
organisations, including UN bodies, the current statues granted by
the General Assembly to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)
is that of "observer", and not "non-member state".
In September, Palestine submitted an application for admission to the
UN as a member state, but the Security Council has not yet made a
recommendation. The US has said it would veto any vote on the matter.
The Palestinians have long sought to establish an independent,
sovereign state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the
Gaza Strip. However, two decades of on-and-off peace talks have
Israel has said that UN admission would bring no change on the
ground, and further remove the possibility for a lasting peace
agreement. (© BBC MMXII 04/03/12)
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