The ICC Admits Jurisdiction Over Palestinian Territories
The ICC Admits Jurisdiction Over Palestinian Territories
  • Baek Ga-eun
  • 승인 2021.06.18 16:09
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  The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on February 5 that jurisdiction over war crimes and atrocities perpetrated in the Palestinian territories is legitimate. According to the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, the ICC, through deliberation, judged Palestine to be within judicial jurisdiction since it has a state position that conforms to the Rome Statute. The AP also mentioned that ICC jurisdiction would extend to East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip – which are the territories that Israel has occupied since 1967. 
  The Rome Statute, adopted in Rome in 1988 by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference for the establishment of the ICC, provides jurisdictional requirements for the referral of ICC trials. 
Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had called on the ICC to rule on Palestinian  jurisdiction before a formal investigation, claiming that there was “a reasonable basis to believe” war crimes had occurred in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. 
  Bloodshed continues in Gaza, also called the ‘world’s largest prison,’ bloodshed continues as Israel cracks down on Palestinian protesters. Israeli troops killed more than 300 Palestinians in March 2018 after the protests against Israel’s occupation policy began near the separation barrier in Gaza Strip. Palestinian authorities have called for an ICC investigation, asserting that Israel has committed war crimes, including killing Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
  The two nations showed conflicting reactions to the announcement – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the ruling while the Palestinian National Authority praised it. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh welcomed it, saying, “This decision of the ICC is a victory for justice and humanity, for the values for truth, fairness, and freedom, and the blood of the victims and their families.” Israel, which is not a member of the ICC and denies its jurisdiction, announced that it would protect its citizens and soldiers from prosecution from a ‘political body.’ Mr. Netanyahu criticized the decision saying, “The court in its decision impairs the right of democratic countries to defend themselves.”
  A State Department spokesman said the US had serious concerns about the ICC asserting jurisdiction over the region. Human rights groups welcomed the decision of the ICC. Balkees Jarrah, the associate international justice director for Human Rights Watch, said that “It is high time that Israeli and Palestinian perpetrators of the gravest abuses face justice.”
  The ICC has been a part of the global justice system since 2002 and has the authority to prosecute those accused of war crimes in the territoriesof states party to the Rome Statute.


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