Palestine submits documents required to join ICC

Place on court would enable Palestinians to seek war crimes charges against Israel

 Riyad H Mansour (right), permanent observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, addresses the media after handing copies of instruments of accession to the International Criminal Court to the United Nations. Photograph: Evan Schneider/EPA/Handout.

Riyad H Mansour (right), permanent observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, addresses the media after handing copies of instruments of accession to the International Criminal Court to the United Nations. Photograph: Evan Schneider/EPA/Handout.

 

Palestinian authorities have submitted documents to the United Nations to join the International Criminal Court, a move that would enable them to seek war crimes charges against Israel.

The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, delivered the documents - known as instruments of ratification - to the assistant secretary-general for legal affairs, Stephen Mathias.

The International Criminal Court has recognised the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as an observer state.

Handing over the documents 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 signed the documents after the UN Security Council rejected a resolution setting a three-year deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state on lands occupied by Israel.

The move, which angered Israel and the United States, paves the way for the court to take jurisdiction over crimes committed in Palestinian lands and investigate the conduct of Israeli and Palestinian leaders over more than a decade of bloody conflict.

AP