The ICC opens a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine

Our organisations [1] welcome the opening by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) of a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine, which represents hope for victims and for lasting peace in the region.

The Office of the Prosecutor will examine all relevant elements in order to reach a fully informed decision on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.

« We are faced today with ongoing impunity for international crimes committed during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This step forward taken by the ICC Prosecutor is a positive signal sent to victims whose voices have not yet been heard by the international community », said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

« The ICC intervention can only contribute to strengthening the rule of law at the national level and to preventing further crimes », added Shawan Jabareen, FIDH Vice-President and General Director of Al Haq.

The ICC Prosecutor will now examine all relevant information on alleged international crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including East Jerusalem since 13 June 2014. The State of Palestine formally acceded to the ICC Statute on 2 January 2015 and lodged an Article 12(3) declaration accepting the ICC jurisdiction over crimes committed on its territory since 13 June 2014.

During a mission to the occupied Palestinian Gaza strip and the West Bank in October 2014, FIDH was able to document and witness the tragic effects of the Protective Edge operation in the occupied Gaza strip and the daily discrimination against the Palestinians throughout the OPT as well as growing settlement extension in the West Bank.

FIDH calls upon the International Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza conflict, the State of Palestine and all relevant States and organisations to fully cooperate with the ICC Office of the Prosecutor and facilitate the work of the International Criminal Court. FIDH together with its member organisations will continue cooperating with the ICC Office of the Prosecutor and contributing to its analysis of the situation, as well as collaborating with the International Commission of Inquiry.

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