Palestine to Join the International Criminal Court in April

By Courtney Cox

Just one day after the U.N. Security Council rejected a resolution that would require the establishment within three years of a Palestinian state on lands occupied by Israel, the Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. submitted letters of accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Al Jazeera reports that days later, the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon confirmed that Palestine will join the ICC on April 1, 2015. The ICC was created by the Rome Statute in 1998 and has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas believes acceding to the treaty will facilitate the prosecution of war crimes committed by Israel. Israel has promptly responded by freezing the transfer of over $100 million in tax funds collected for Palestinians. The United States is also unsettled by Palestine’s new membership. A State Department representative asserted that the move would cause an impediment to permanent peaceful resolution.