ICC acknowledges receiving membership request from Palestinians


(JTA) — The International Criminal Court acknowledged that it received a signed document stating that the Palestinian government accepted jurisdiction of the court.

The Palestinians also filed an ad hoc declaration for the ICC to investigate Israel for war crimes as of June 13. The date is one day after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by Palestinians from Hebron.

The massive operation to find the teens and Israel’s 50-day military operation in Gaza over the summer would be covered under the retroactive date.

The declaration would start proceedings against Israel even as the Palestinians wait for the court to accept their membership.

The United Nations is reviewing the Palestinians’ request to join the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC, as well as nearly 20 other statutes and conventions, according to the court.

In a statement, the court said: “The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries individuals accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Acceptance of the ICC’s jurisdiction does not automatically trigger an investigation. It is for the ICC Prosecutor to establish whether the Rome Statute criteria for opening an investigation are met and, where required, to request authorization from ICC Judges.”

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