The International Criminal Court recognizes the jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories, and Shtayyeh welcomes the decision

Judges of the International Criminal Court issued a decision today, Friday, that the court, based in The Hague, has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories, paving the way for an investigation of war crimes there.

The First Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court affirmed that the court’s territorial jurisdiction includes the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh welcomed the decision issued by the International Criminal Court this evening, Friday, to the majority of its members, according to which it confirmed its jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and that Palestine is a member of the Rome Statute.

Shtayyeh considered the decision a victory for justice and humanity, the values ​​of truth, justice and freedom, and fairness for the blood of the victims and their families who are suffering the pain of their separation, the last of whom was the martyr Khaled Nofal from the village of Ras Karkar, west of Ramallah, who was killed in cold blood by settlers' bullets.

The Prime Minister said that the decision is a message to the perpetrators of the crimes, that their crimes will not be subject to a statute of limitations, and that they will not go unpunished, considering that it is a victory for the same court that thwarted Israel's attempts to politicalize its deliberations.

Shtayyeh stressed that the government continues to document the ongoing Israeli crimes against our people, especially murders, house demolitions, land seizures, and settlement expansion to swallow land, as happened yesterday in Khirbet Homs and other lands threatened by settlement, which violates international law and resolutions of international legitimacy, and undermines the two-state solution. And in particular Security Council Resolution No. (2334), and that it will be referred to the court as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister called on the court to speed up its judicial procedures in the files brought before it, which include the crimes committed by Israel during its three wars on the Gaza Strip, in addition to the prisoners' and settlement files.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates welcomed the decision, and considered that this decision proves the independence and integrity of the court in light of the Israeli campaign of defaming the court.

In a statement issued by the Ministry this evening, Al-Maliki stressed that this decision will allow the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open a criminal investigation immediately, and as a culmination of the relentless effort that the Ministry has made with the International Criminal Court since the first day of the accession of the State of Palestine to its membership in 2014, according to directives President Mahmoud Abbas and his follow-up to the Palestinian effort to achieve justice and remedy for his victims.

He added that this legal victory is the result of the relationship of cooperation and complementarity that brought together official institutions, human rights organizations and national committees within the framework of the Supreme Committee to follow up work with the International Criminal Court.

Al-Maliki clarified that what the State of Palestine achieved before the International Criminal Court today came in implementation of the strategy established by the Palestinian diplomacy, based on the status of the State of Palestine in the United Nations after it obtained the status of a non-member observer state on October 29, 2012 in addition to its membership in the United Nations Educational Science and Culture (UNESCO) in 2011.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates called on the Public Prosecutor to open a criminal investigation as soon as possible, leading to the procedures for trying the officials of the Israeli occupation authorities for their criminal record against the Palestinian people. He also stressed that the State of Palestine will work to cooperate fully with the Prosecutor based on the State of Palestine’s adherence to its legal obligations as a member state of the International Criminal Court, in its belief in the importance of the court’s role in putting an end to the most serious crimes and holding the perpetrators accountable, and its absolute conviction that justice is the key to peace.


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