“International Criminal Court (ICC) The Situation of Palestine”

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“International Criminal Court (ICC) The Situation of Palestine”

The International Criminal Court began operations on 1 July 2002. It is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal. The Court is participating in a global fight to end impunity. Governed by an international treaty called the Rome Statute, the ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court.

The International Criminal Court does not aim to replace national criminal courts, but rather to complement them, it works to achieve peace, stability, and justice throughout the world, complementing the role of national courts within the territories of any state, and its scope is not limited to a specific place, but rather is global.

The jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The Court has jurisdiction in accordance with this Statute with respect to the

following crimes:

(1) The crime of genocide.

(2) Crimes against humanity.

(3) War crimes.

(4) The crime of aggression.

1) Genocide: Any act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, and those acts are:

(a) Killing members of the group.

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction

in whole or in part.

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

2) Crimes against humanity: Any of the following acts constitutes a “crime against humanity” when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(a) Murder.

(b) Extermination: ” includes the intentional infliction of conditions of life, inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population.

(c) Enslavement: means the exercise of any or all the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power while trafficking in persons, in particular women and children.

(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population: means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law.

(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law.

(f) Torture: the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions.

(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectively on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.

(i) Enforced disappearance of persons: the arrest, detention, or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.

(j) The crime of apartheid: is inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.

(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

3) War crimes: grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, any of the following acts against persons or property protected by the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention:

(i) Wilful killing.

(ii) Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments.

(iii) Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health.

(iv) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

(v) Compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power.

(vi) Wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial.

(vii) Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement.

(viii) Taking of hostages.

In addition to other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable to international armed conflicts within the established scope of international law, including:

  • Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities.
  • Intentionally directing attacks against civilian sites, that is sites that do not constitute military objectives.

The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory and what mentioned in the Rome Statute.

who can refer a situation to the court?

According to the Rome Statute, a state party to the Rome Statute has the right to refer a case in which one of the crimes stipulated as mentioned above, and the United Nations Security Council has the right to refer crimes as well, in addition to the start of an investigation by the Prosecutor of the Public Prosecution Office of the International Criminal Court related to one of those crimes.

The Public Prosecution Office of the International Criminal Court opened an investigation respecting the Situation in Palestine. According to the statement, the court may exercise its criminal jurisdiction in the case in Palestine, and that the territorial scope of that jurisdiction extends to Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The Chamber decided, by a majority that Palestine fulfilled the requirements of statehood under public international law. The Chamber was otherwise unanimous in its view that Palestine is a State Party to the Rome Statute. Moreover, The Prosecutor announced that she was satisfied that: there was a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Members of the Israel Defense Forces (“IDF”) committed the war crimes of intentionally launching disproportionate attacks in relation to at least three incidents which the Office has focussed on wilful killing and wilfully causing serious injury to body or health, and intentionally directing an attack against objects or persons using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions.

Summary of Preliminary Examination findings:

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