ICC Includes Israeli Infringements in Its Investigations
The International Criminal Court’s decision to include “territories occupied by Israel” in the 1967 war in its territorial jurisdiction continued to generate waves over the weekend, as reactions poured in from across the region and the globe. The United States State Department expressed “serious concerns” over the international court’s ruling, reiterating Washington’s stance that “the Palestinians … do not qualify as a sovereign state, and therefore are not qualified to participate” in the ICC’s legal proceedings. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the decision “pure anti-Semitism” in a rare statement released during the Jewish Sabbath, while Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh labeled it “a historic victory for justice and humanity,” saying Jerusalem had till now been treated as “above the law.” Friday’s announcement by the Hague-based court for the first time approved a future investigation into both Israeli and Palestinian actions in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, all areas captured by Israel over 50 years ago. Israel, as well as the US, objected, and is not a party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC.