Palestine became an official observer at the Hague’s International Criminal Court, on Monday, according to UN envoy Riyad Mansour.The Palestinian official said the move would strengthen possibilities for Palestinian statehood, Ma’an News Agency reported.
Mr. Mansour additionally stated that Palestine’s new status at the ICC was ‘another victory for Palestinians at the international level, bringing them closer to restoring their rights, and opening the door wide to drag leaders of the Israeli occupation to the dock of this court, so the souls of the victims can finally rest in peace.’
He said that Palestine was now moving in the direction of becoming full members of the ICC.
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Palestine’s recognition comes as a procedural move at the opening session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, according to an Associate Press report.
The PLO had, in 2009, appealed to the ICC’s prosecutor’s office for official investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli military in Gaza.
There has so far been no probe, according to Ma’an, as Palestine is not an ICC member state and its status as a state is uncertain within some international circles.
However, the PLO obtained the status of observer state at the United Nations, in late November of 2012, opening the door for an ICC investigation.