December 10, 2014
(TheAntiMedia) The Jerusalem Post announced that Palestine has gained Observer status for the first time, from the International Criminal Court – a 122 member international tribunal – on Monday. Many consider this a remarkable step toward Palestine gaining formal membership status.
Plans to join the ICC as a member state were initiated by the Palestinian Authority during the summer, when Israel launched their seven-week-long string of attacks on Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of more than 2,200 Palestinians.
Official membership could potentially allow for Palestinians to sue Israel for war crimes, but whether or not this will happen is yet to be determined by further action, and is not to be indicated by the given Observer status.
This was further suggested by the President of the Assembly of State Parties of the ICC, who stated,
“The assembly takes the following decisions on procedure independently and without prejudice to decisions taken for other purposes, including the decisions of any other organization or any organ of the court concerning legal matters before it.”
She went on to say,
“At the same time I recall that Rule 94 of the rules of procedures states that at the beginning of every session of the assembly the president, subject to the adoption of the assembly, may invite states which are not parties to the Rome Statute and which have not signed the final act nor the statute to attend the assembly proceedings,”
So although Palestine’s formal membership is yet to be finalized, and is by no means officially guaranteed, this is still a progressive step forward for the Palestinian people, and is indefinitely a notable occurrence in the aftermath of Israel’s latest onslaught on Gaza.
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