Palestine Submits Document to Join ICC

Palestine Submits Document to Join ICCPalestine Submits Document to Join ICC

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN formally submitted Palestine’s application to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) to the UN secretary-general.

The Palestinians want to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel and challenge Israeli settlement building. The UN confirmed receipt of the documents, and said the next steps were being reviewed. It will take a minimum of 60 days for the request to come into effect, Al-Jazeera reported.

Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, Riyad Mansour said pursuing the war-crimes case was an option that allowed Palestine to “seek justice for all those killed by the Israeli occupier”.

The move came two days after the application for membership of the Hague-based ICC was signed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

“We are honored that we are to be the 123rd state party to join the ICC, which will become effective about 60 days from now,” Mansour said.

“It is a very significant step which we will be taking. It is a legal option, it is a peaceful option, it is a civilized option and it is an option that anyone who upholds the law should not be afraid of.”

On the possibility of Palestinian leaders, particularly members of Hamas, being pursued for war crimes, Mansour said that the option was “political posturing”.

“We are not afraid of the judgment of the law, especially international law,” he said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute, the founding treaty to join the International Criminal Court, on Tuesday, a day after the UNSC failed to adopt the Arab coalition’s bid for the creation of a Palestinian state.

The ICC has already recognized Palestine’s “observer” status at the UN General Assembly, and the dispatch of the signed documents marks the final step in the process of consolidating its membership in the court.