Date : 6 Feb 2021
A historic day for international justice
The International Commission (ICSPR) warmly welcomes the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights “ICSPR” followed with great satisfaction, the decision of the International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber I, issued today, 5 February 2021 by the majority of its members, which confirms the jurisdiction of the regional criminal court over the situation in Palestine, based on a legal analysis of the set of UN resolutions that affirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence.
The court also Leaned on the fact that the term (state) in 12 (2) a of the Statute referred to a state party to the Rome Statute, regardless of its status under general international law. Palestine’s accession to the Basic Law followed correct and normal procedures, which qualifies the court territorially. Likewise, it was based on the fact that the arguments related to the Oslo Accords and their articles that limit the scope of Palestinian jurisdiction, are not relevant to resolving the issue of the court’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine. These and other questions of jurisdiction can be studied when the Public Prosecutor submits a request for a warrant of arrest or to summon.
This decision is the third step in the Palestinian track before the Criminal Court, it was preceded in December 2019 by the decision of Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the Permanent International Criminal Court, regarding the request of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court to issue a decision to decide its territorial jurisdiction in Palestine, after announcing the end of the preliminary study that included a comprehensive and independent assessment of the crimes committed in Palestine, in which it concluded that the situation there meets all the legal standards under the Rome Statute, which are necessary to open an investigation into crimes in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. And before that, the public Prosecutor’s decision on16 January 2015 regarding the initiation of a preliminary study of the situation in Palestine, after the State of Palestine filed a special declaration in accordance with Article 13 (2) of the system under which Palestine accepts the temporal jurisdiction of the court over the crimes committed on its territory since 13 June 2014, and falls within the jurisdiction of the court.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights “ICSPR” welcomes the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court, considering it an important positive step in the way of triumphing for the Palestinian victims, and expressing its appreciation for all the efforts made by the official and civil Palestinian authorities in order to strengthen the process of accountability of the Israeli occupation leaders and narrowing the scope of international impunity. Therefore, ICSPR demands the following:
- ICSPR urges the Public Prosecution Office of the International Criminal Court to triumph for the Palestinian victims, by immediately initiating a preliminary investigation into crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- ICSPR considers the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber as a consolidation of the international accountability principle, which contributes to reducing the scope of impunity and achieving the necessary judicial deterrence to ensure the achievement of international accountability.
- ICSPR urges states ratifying the Rome Statute, and the United Nations human rights institutions, to work to support the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber and the Prosecutor.
- ICSPR calls on the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to invest its membership in the Executive Office of the Assembly of Member States of the Permanent International Criminal Court, in order to urge all actors before the court, to ensure that a serious investigation is opened.