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Palestine will Join International Criminal Court
Jan 09, 2015

The state of Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1, a high-stakes move that will enable the Palestinians to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.

Key Points

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

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed documents to join the ICC a day after the U.N. 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.

  • Joining the ICC is part of a broader Palestinian strategy to pressure Israel into withdrawing from the territories and agreeing to Palestinian statehood.

  • Palestinian President has been under heavy domestic pressure to take stronger action against Israel after a 50-day war between the Jewish state and militants in Gaza over the summer, tensions over holy sites in Jerusalem, and the failure of the last round of U.S.-led peace talks.

  • The Palestinian decision to join the ICC has already sparked retaliation from Israel which froze the transfer of more than $100 million in tax funds collected for the Palestinians and planning for tougher actions.

  • The United States also opposed the move, calling it an obstacle to reaching a permanent peace agreement that would give the Palestinians an independent state.

  • The Obama administration is reviewing its annual $440 million aid package to the Palestinians because of the decision to join the ICC.


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