- Jessica Purkiss, MEM, 11 September 2014
In 2009, Palestinian leaders attempted to bring Israel’s actions during “Operation Cast Lead” to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Although the bid was refused by the then prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on the grounds that only states could do so and Palestine was not recognized as a state, the move fuelled hopes that one day Israel could be held accountable.The United Nations General Assembly approved Palestine’s 2012 statehood bid, upgrading Palestine to a non-member observer state and therefore making it eligible to bring a case to the court. The chief prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, has stated that “the ball is now in the court of Palestine,” “Palestine has to come back” and “we are waiting for them.”
When Palestinian foreign minister Riad Maliki visited The Hague in early August, the seat of the ICC, hopes were once again raised- would Palestine’s leaders finally follow through with its ICC threats? Maliki told reporters that the visit was made in-order to discuss the implications of signing the Rome Statute. Signing the Rome Statute would make Palestine a member of the ICC with the authority to call for an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel.