By claiming “Palestine is a State,” the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s ruling means that the ICC has jurisdiction and Fatou Bensouda can begin taking on Palestinian causes.
International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s claim that “Palestine is a state,” has more than likely paved the way for future war crimes investigations against Israel.
With her assertion, in one fell swoop she has enabled the court to claim jurisdiction involving Palestine’s cases.
Bensouda’s primary argument about Palestine’s status was that in 2015, it was accepted into the ICC’s Assembly of State Parties, without encountering any significant objections. Her claim that no members legally challenged Palestine before the ICC judges at the time, was a form of legal acceptance, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.
A three-judge panel of the ICC Pretrial Chamber must now ratify Bensouda’s decision. The outcome could have significant implications for the State of Israel, particularly in the legal and diplomatic spheres.
In a December 20 ruling, Bensouda maintained that Palestine is a state and that “there was sufficient evidence that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes, warranting her opening a full criminal investigation,” the Post reported. In addition to its activities in the Gaza Strip, Israel has been accused of committing war crimes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel is not a signatory to the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the ICC – and it does not even wish to give the appearance of having accepted the court’s jurisdiction.
In contrast, the Palestinian Authority has consistently used its position to try and increase pressure on Israel.
The situation is delicately balanced; Israel has some powerful allies including the United Kingdom and the United States, both of which have been caught in the ICC’s crosshairs – the latter for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan – but there are many states and non-governmental actors that would seem to back Bensouda’s play.
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Because of the UNGA Resolution 67/19 (explained above) the Requirements for Sovereignty are being ignored.
The State of Palestine has never been declared.
The borders have never been under its control,
ruled by a single government or
accepted by two of its three neighboring countries: Israel and Egypt.
This says much to the veracity, impartiality and disposition of the ICC in general and its prosecutor in particular.
‘as a light unto the nations’