International Criminal Court and Palestine
The International Criminal Court in the Hague have confirmed that they have jurisdiction over Occupied Palestine. This decision paves the way for investigations into possible war crimes in the occupied territories.
The statement of the Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said:
"This is a historic day for the principle of criminal accountability. The investigation that this Decision has now facilitated sends a clear message to perpetrators of heinous crimes and their accomplices that they are not out of reach and that their crimes will not go unpunished. Finally and after decades of agony and suffering, the Palestinian people’s inherent right to seek justice and accountability will be within reach and justice can be denied no longer."
This decision is about accountability and justice which have thus far been lacking in Israel’s practices and policies with the occupied Palestinian territories.
It is an important milestone in the struggle of the Palestinian people to realise their inalienable rights and ending impunity for the perpetrators of grave crimes.
UN expert Michael Lynk said. “This ruling opens the door for credible allegations of Rome Statute crimes to finally be investigated and potentially reach the trial stage at the ICC.” .
The State of Palestine welcomes the decision of the ICC and will continue co-operate with the forthcoming investigations fully.
Peace, Freedom and Human Rights
Our lasting goal is to achieve an independent, sovereign Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital city. This is commonly referred to as the two-state solution, whereby an independent Palestine lives peacefully alongside our neighbour.
The delineation and demarcation of agreed upon borders are central to reaching an end of conflict on the basis of the two-state solution.
The 1967 border, which is defined as the 1949 Armistice Line along with all legal modification thereto up to June 4th 1967 is the internationally-recognized border between Israel and the occupied State of Palestine.
A basic principle of international law is that no state may acquire territory by force. Israel has no valid claim to any part of the territory it occupied in 1967.
UN Resolution 2334 affirmed that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.
Our position on borders has evolved since 1948. Our national movement once laid claim to its rights over all of historic Palestine, an area that includes modern day Israel.
Since 1988, however, in the interest of achieving peace, we accepted the compromise of 22 percent of historic Palestine, seeking a state of our own in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
Despite this, Israel continues to colonize and encroach on our rights and our land by building the Wall, expanding settlements, confiscating and grabbing Palestinian Land, demolishing of Palestinian homes, in violation of international law.
Settlements and Colonization
Since 1967, Israel has colonized the occupied Palestinian territories by systematically transferring parts of its civilian population into the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in violation of international law.
Today, more than half a million Israeli settlers, including over 190,000 in and around East Jerusalem, live in more than 250 settlements and outposts established on land illegally seized from Palestinians.
These settlements range in size from nascent settlements or “outposts,” consisting of a few trailers, to entire towns of tens of thousands of settlers.
The aim and effect of Israel’s settlement enterprise has been to alter the oPt’s status, both physically and demographically, so as to prevent its return to us.
The construction of Israeli settlements is designed to illegally confiscate our land and natural resources while confining our population to unsustainable, ever-shrinking enclaves and severing East Jerusalem from the rest of the oPt.
By limiting the territorial contiguity and economic viability of the oPt, Israeli settlements pose the single greatest threat to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and hence, to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.