U.S.: Palestinian ICC move to have aid ‘implications’

A Palestinian woman takes some of her belongings from her destroyed home in Gaza City was targeted by Israeli airstrikes. (File: AFP)

Further steps by the Palestinians on Friday to deliver to the U.N. documents on joining the International Criminal Court will have implications for U.S. aid, a senior State Department official said.

“It should come as no surprise that there will be implications for this step, but we continue to review,” the official told Reuters.

“U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority has played a valuable role in promoting stability and prosperity not just for the Palestinians, but also for Israel as well,” the official added.

The Palestinian Authority has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate crimes committed in the Palestinian territories since June 13, 2014, ICC sources have said.

The investigation if launched could focus on the atrocities committed during the 50-day war on Gaza which began on July 8, 2014. More than 2,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, and 66 Israeli soldiers and five civilians were killed during the war.

The Palestinians also seek an investigation into the continuous building of Israeli settlements, considered as illegal under international law.

The probe could begin as soon as Palestine becomes a full member in the ICC and a signatory of the Rome Statute.

The Palestinians submitted documents to the United Nations to join court on Friday.

The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, delivered the documents - known as instruments of ratification - to Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Stephen Mathias on Friday morning.

The International Criminal Court has recognized the U.N. General Assembly's recognition of Palestine as an observer state. Handing over the paperwork is the last formal step for Palestine to become a member of the ICC, which would take at least 60 days.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, under heavy pressure to take stronger action against Israel after a 50-day war with between the Jewish state and militants in Gaza over the summer, signed the documents after the Security Council rejected the resolution.

At the international court, the Palestinians could seek to have Israeli military or political figures prosecuted for alleged crimes involving settlement construction on occupied lands or actions by the military that cause heavy civilian casualties, for instance.

 

[With Associated Press]

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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