ICC investigation in Palestine opens a long-awaited path to justice

Press release following the ICC’s decision to open an investigation into the Situation in Palestine.

Commenting on the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to open an investigation into the Situation in Palestine, EuroMed Rights President, Wadih Al-Asmar, said: “Today is an important day for international justice in the Euro-Mediterranean region. After decades of systematic impunity and international neglect of the thousands of Palestinian victims of the most egregious crimes, the Court has officially embarked on the road to justice, accountability and reparations for victims in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Today is also a victory for the tireless Palestinian civil society that, for so many years, has maintained its firm belief that the most pressing challenge in Israel/Palestine is to address the human rights situation on the ground and protect international law from the continued assault by the Israeli authorities.”

EuroMed Rights calls on the European Union to rise to this historic occasion for international justice and give clear, unequivocal support to this investigation, as the EU has systematically done with regards to other ICC investigations in third countries.[1] The EU and its 27 Member States are legally bound to provide cooperation and assistance to the ICC throughout its investigation. In this regard, the EU and Member State delegations, embassies and representative offices on the ground will be essential in documenting, gathering and eventually transferring to the Court crucial information and evidence relating to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Israel/Palestine, as well as enforcing forfeiture orders, ICC fines and requests for arrest and surrender of accused individuals.

“We also call on the EU and its Member States to strongly support the ICC’s legitimacy from the escalating threats to its independence and mandate, and provide effective and decisive protection to Israeli and Palestinian human rights defenders and potential witnesses in the face of ongoing cases of smear, harassment and intimidation,” added EuroMed Rights Executive Director, Rasmus Alenius Boserup.

[1] The EU has publicly welcomed and supported ICC’s investigations in Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sudan, Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya, Ivory Coast, Mali, Burundi and Bangladesh/Myanmar.