ILNA: The International Criminal Court says Palestinian officials have formally recognized the court’s jurisdiction.
Herman von Herbel, who serves as ICC registrar, confirmed Monday that the body has received documents by Palestine declaring its acceptance of the body’s jurisdiction. This paves the way for the court’s investigation of Israeli crimes committed during the recent war on Gaza.
However, the move differs from accession to the Court’s founding treaty and Palestine has yet to trigger an automatic investigation into Israeli crimes.
When Palestine accedes to the Rome Statute, The Hague - based court would be able to prosecute Israeli officials for crimes they have committed over the past months in Gaza and the West Bank.
The ICC started its work in early - July ۲۰۰۲, when the Rome Statute entered into force as the foundational and governing document. Currently, there are ۱۲۲ states, which are party to the Rome Statute and thus members of the ICC.
The United States and Israel, along with Sudan, have said that they no longer intend to become states parties and, therefore, have no legal obligations arising from their former representatives’ signature of the Statute.
Israel and the US are extremely angry about Palestine’s attempt to join the ICC, with US officials calling the move counter - productive. Israel has also halted the transfer of more than USD ۱۲۰ million in taxes belonging to the Palestinians in retaliation for their application to join the ICC.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed the request to join the ICC after the United Nations Security Council rejected a Palestinian proposal for statehood on December ۳۰. The Palestinians have requested to join the Hague - based court in order to bring war crimes charges against Israel.