Palestine to join ICC on April 1

Palestine to join ICC on April 1Palestine to join ICC on April 1

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said late Tuesday that the state of Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1, a move that will enable the Palestinians to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.

The Palestinians submitted the documents ratifying the Rome Statute that established the court last Friday, the last formal step to accepting the jurisdiction of the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal, Al-Jazeera reported.

In a statement posted on the UN’s treaty website, the secretary-general announced his acceptance of the documents saying “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015” in accordance with the court’s procedures. He said he was “acting in his capacity as depositary” for the documents of ratification.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed documents to join the ICC a day after the UN Security Council rejected a resolution on Dec. 30 that would have set a three-year deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state on lands occupied by Israel.

  Tax Freeze a Violation

The EU’s foreign policy chief called Israel’s move to freeze the transfer of Palestinian tax revenues a violation of the Oslo Accords, urging the nation to renew the payments.

“The decision of the Israeli government to halt the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority runs counter to Israel’s obligations under the Paris Protocol (the economic part of the Oslo Accords),” the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, said in a statement published on Tuesday.

Israel announced last week it may consider filing war crimes suits to foreign courts against top Palestinian officials and freeze the transfer of monthly tax revenues to Palestine in response to its application to the International Criminal Court.

  Vain Efforts

The EU official further stressed that Europe has been providing support to the Palestinians, warning that its efforts should not be jeopardized by failing to transfer the tax revenue funds.

“EU is providing considerable support, including financial assistance, to ensure the building of the institutions and infrastructure of a future Palestinian State. These achievements should not be put at risk by not meeting obligations regarding the timely and transparent transfer of tax and custom revenues.”

Israel’s move to freeze the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority was criticized by the US on Monday. France also spoke out on Tuesday, trying to prevent the situation from escalating, following a statement by Abbas that he will resubmit a resolution to the UN Security Council for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Mogherini called Israel’s decision on freezing Palestinian tax revenues a violation of the Oslo Accords.