The Road to Palestinian Statehood
I write on human rights and persecution of minorities around the world Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
End of September 2017, INTERPOL announced that the State of Palestine (together with the Solomon Islands) was to became its newest member. The announcement followed a vote which required a two-thirds majority of INTERPOL’s General Assembly. The favourable vote came as a surprise to many as the question of Palestine’s statehood remains controversial.
INTERPOL’s acceptance of Palestine as a member country was not the biggest surprise of the past years. One of the most significant stakeholders in the Palestinian statehood issue is the International Criminal Council (ICC).
For the ICC, the question of Palestinian statehood is of marked significance. For the ICC to have the jurisdiction to investigate a situation and prosecute, the state in question must be a signatory to the Rome Statute. This equips the ICC with the so-called territorial jurisdiction. The Prosecutor can then trigger investigations from her right, proprio motu, or a state can refer the situation to the ICC. If the state in question is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, the ICC may still gain jurisdiction if the country voluntarily accepts the jurisdiction of the ICC or if the UN Security Council refers the situation to the ICC. The first hurdle for any party seeking to join the ICC is that it must first be a state.