Jan 28, 2022

Share this article

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced on Wednesday that “Palestine” will officially join the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1.

Acceptance to the ICC will allow the Palestinians to pursue war crimes charges against Israel, a high-stakes move that has been condemned by Israel and the US.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas submitted some 20 applications to international treaties last week, one of them the Rome Statute that established the ICC in 2002. Signing the Rome Statue is the last formal step to becoming a permanent member of the international crimes tribunal.

Application to the ICC came a day after a Palestinian resolution calling for Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria by the end of 2017 was rejected by the UN Security Council.

The unilateral resolution, submitted by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, also called for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.

In a statement posted on the UN’s website, the secretary-general said that “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015.” Ban said that he was acting as the “depositary” for the documents of ratification.


In response to the Palestinians newest strategy to pressure Israel into statehood, Israel threatened severe retaliation. The government has already acted on its threat, freezing more than $100 million in tax revenue collected on behalf of Ramallah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that the unilateral push for statehood has pushed off any prospect of peace for the time being.

Speaking to Channel 2 news, the prime minister added that any talk of evacuation of Jewish areas from Judea and Samaria were off the table. “I don’t see [evacuating settlers] as practical at the moment because any territory we vacate will be grabbed…I don’t see it happening,” he said.

Earlier this week, in anticipation of the Palestinians decision to file war crimes charges against Israel, the legal right NGO Shurat HaDin filed three more war crimes charges against members of Abbas’s Fatah party.

The Obama administration, which has expressed it opposition to Palestinian membership at the ICC, said that it has taken steps with Congress to review its annual $440 million aid package to the Palestinians.

Under American law, any Palestinian case against Israel brought before the ICC would trigger an immediate cutoff of all financial aid from the US to the Palestinians.

The ICC was established to prosecute individual perpetrators of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity at The Hague. “Palestine” will become the 123rd member.

LISTEN BELOW: What Would a State of Palestine Contribute to Society?

VOI hamas