The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is doubling down on her position that Palestine is a state in the sense that it can transfer criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague.
The move potentially paves the way for war crimes probes against Israel and Palestinian groups for suspected acts committed in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
Fatou Bensouda’s view is published in 60-page paper minutes before her 4 p.m. (Hague time) elapsed.
“The Prosecution has carefully considered the observations of the participants and remains of the view that the Court has jurisdiction over the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” she writes.
It is now up to a pre-trial chamber to rule on the matter. The three judges of this chamber — Péter Kovács of Hungary, Marc Perrin de Brichambaut of France and Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou of Benin — have no set deadline to hand down their decision but are expected to do so within 120 days.
— Raphael Ahren