Prof. Gregory Rose and Andrew Tucker analyze the Response of the Prosecutor of the ICC to amici curiae ‘observations’ concerning the ‘Situation in Palestine’.
ICC Prosecutor sweeps aside arguments made by several highly regarded international lawyers, and seven States who are Parties to the ICC Statute of Rome.
On 5 December 2019 the Office of the Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court issued its annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2019. In this report, the Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou
Bensouda, gave a summary of the status of the twelve “situations” under examination by her office. She has indicated strongly that the Office intends to move forward soon to officially investigate Israeli leaders for war crimes and possibly also crimes against humanity relating to the “situation in Palestine”. In our view, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC is making a grave mistake.
On May 20, 2019 we reported that the ICC is considering looking into whether Israel has committed war crimes in its dealings with Palestinians. Now, the ICC is even considering initiating an investigation into the legality of Jewish settlements in the so-called “West Bank”, suggesting that such settlements constitute a war crime against Palestinians. The fact is, but for political motives, the ICC would not even be considering these issues.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has for some time been looking into whether Israeli leaders are potentially guilty of war crimes, i.a. in relation to Israeli settlement policies. To open an investigation into the settlements issue, she needs to decide that ’Palestine‘ is a state for the purposes of the Rome Statute that governs the ICC.
It is often claimed by media and many UN policy documents that the “Israeli settlements” in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are in violation of international law. This report reviews the main legal and factual arguments associated with this claim and concludes that such simplistic characterizations are biased and unfounded under international law.