ICC rejects Palestinian bid to investigate Israeli war crimes during ´Cast Lead´ Gaza operation (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid 04/04/12)
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The International Criminal Court prosecutor announced Tuesday that he
has rejected a bid by the Palestinian Authority to have the war
crimes tribunal investigate Israeli conduct during ´Operation Cast
Lead´ in Gaza.
The reason for his decision was that under the ICC´s founding treaty,
the Rome Statute, only internationally recognized states can join the
In an official statement released Tuesday afternoon, the ICC said
that "the current status granted to Palestine by the United Nations
General Assembly is that of “observer”, not as a “Non‐member State”,"
and that only "relevant bodies at the United Nations" or the group of
states that make up the court could determine whether Palestinians
can sign up to the Rome Statute.
"[T]he Office has assessed that it is for the relevant bodies at the
United Nations or the Assembly of States Parties to make the legal
determination whether Palestine qualifies as a State for the purpose
of acceding to the Rome Statute and thereby enabling the exercise of
jurisdiction by the Court," the statement said. "The Rome Statute
provides no authority for the Office of the Prosecutor to adopt a
method to define the term “State”".
The ICC explained that "Palestine has been recognized as a State in
bilateral relations by more than 130 governments and by certain
international organisations, including United Nation bodies. However,
the current status granted to Palestine by the United Nations General
Assembly is that of “observer”, not as a “Non‐member State”."
In the future, the statement continued, the ICC could "consider
allegations of crimes committed in Palestine, should competent organs
of the United Nations or eventually the Assembly of States Parties
resolve the legal issue" regarding Palestine´s membership status.
The bid was made in 2009, when Palestinian Justice Minister Ali
Khashan sent a letter to the ICC saying the PA recognizes the court´s
authority to deliberate "the actions taken in the Palestinian
territories from July 1."
Following the PA´s request, the ICC´s prosecutor began looking into
the possibility of an investigation. During the discussions, Arab
League representatives submitted a report to the ICC alleging war
crimes committed by Israel during Cast Lead. In July 2011, the PA
submitted its appeal in writing to the ICC. (© Copyright 2012
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