The International Criminal Court Recognizes its Territorial Jurisdiction over the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Decision on the “Prosecution request pursuant to article 19(3) for a ruling on the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine”, ICC-01/18-143, February 5, 2021
On Friday 5 February 2021, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Preliminary Chamber I, recognized its territorial jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The Preliminary Chamber has in fact held that, although its legal status is controversial in the international context, Palestine is in effect a State party to the ICC, having regularly ratified the Rome Statute in 2015. The State of Israel, on the other hand, has never ratified the treaty establishing the ICC.
Following this decision, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will be able to formally open investigations into the situation in Palestine – for six years under preliminary examination by the Court – concerning alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Palestinian occupied territories.
To read the decision, click here.
For a comment (in Italian) on the decision, please refer to C. Meloni, The International Criminal Court Confirms Its Territorial Jurisdiction over Palestine, in Sistema Penale, February 9, 2021.