Palestinian Authority joins International Criminal Court

02 April 2015

Authority was formally accepted as a member on 1 April

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has formally joined the International Criminal Court (ICC), in a controversial move which has been opposed by Israel and the US.

As a member of the ICC, the PA could potentially press for war crime indictments against Israeli officials. The ICC, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, can try and prosecute individuals accused of war crimes.

The PA’s move to join the ICC has been sternly opposed by both Israel and the US, with the US having said that Palestinian accession to the ICC could have an effect on US aid to the PA.

A US State department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said shortly after PA leader Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty, on 31 December that the Palestinian move to join the ICC was “entirely counterproductive and does nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state”.

In early January, Israel said it was freezing $127m of tax revenues collected for the PA in December in response to the Palestinian Authority’s move to join the ICC.

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