A number of human rights groups from Addameer Prisoner Support to Amnesty International are urging Palestinian officials to sign up with the International Criminal Court.Seventeen local and international human rights organizations have signed a joint letter to President Mahmoud Abbas, urging him to go forward in anchoring the country’s status in the international community by accession to the ICC Rome Statute.
London-based Amnesty International said that if Palestine ‘signed up to the Rome Statute of the ICC, the Court would have jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Palestinian territories and by its nationals elsewhere’, according to an AFP report.
The joint letter urged Abbas to ‘take the necessary steps for Palestine to become a party’ to the ICC.
‘Doing so would send an important message that entrenched impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Palestinian territories must end once and for all,” said Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program director, Philip Luther.
Abbas recently signed membership applications for 15 UN agencies and international treaties, starting with the Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines humanitarian protections for civilians living in a war zone.