In Its Response to ICC Request for Clarifications, Palestine Urges the Court to Expedite Investigation

Palestine responded to the latest request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for clarification regarding the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s decision to be absolved of all agreements with Israel, following the latter’s decision to annex a large part of the occupied Palestinian territory.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Maliki said that Palestine’s decision should have no bearing on the legal issues of the investigation, calling on the ICC to proceed without delay in its investigation of Israeli crimes against the occupied Palestinian people.

On May 26, the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber issued an “Order requesting additional information” regarding the decision by President Mahmoud Abbas, on May 19, to end all relations with Israel. The Chamber asked Palestine to provide, without further specification, “additional information on this statement, including on the question whether it pertains to any of the Oslo agreements between Palestine and Israel.”

In its response to the Pre-Trial Chamber’s Order, the State of Palestine indicated that the President’s statement “was not made as part of the record of these proceedings and did not in any way purport to, nor does it, legally affect the question presently before the Chamber.”

It added, “As a State Party and a Party to these proceedings, Palestine made its submissions on 16 March 2020, stands by them and has not sought to supplement them. In making those submissions, Palestine assiduously avoided (unlike many other intervening Parties) advancing any argument or claims of a political nature so as to preserve and protect the judicial character of these proceedings. Based on these considerations, Palestine respectfully submits that the Statement has no bearing on and is of no relevance to the legal issue(s) placed before the Chamber by the Prosecutor.”

Maliki specified that Palestine’s response coincided with the 53rd anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands, including Jerusalem.

 

Source: The Palestine Chronicle