Palestine’s First Communication of Information to the ICC Regarding Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
Questions and Answers
Palestine’s First Communication of Information to the International
Criminal Court Regarding Violations of International Humanitarian and
Human Rights Law
On June 25th, 2015, the State of Palestine will officially present an initial
batch of information to the International Criminal Court in order to assist with its
preliminary examination into crimes committed on the territory of the occupied
State, including East Jerusalem, since June 13 2014. The delivery of this
information is considered a fundamental step in the process of ending Israeli
impunity and bringing justice to the Palestinian people.
Is this communication a referral?
No. The communication focuses on providing information to the ICC
Prosecutor so as to supplement a preliminary examination in advance of an official
investigation. If the Prosecutor finds that the information reaches the threshold
required for an investigation, she will proceed with the investigation. Palestine is
simply contributing information to facilitate the preliminary examination initiated
16 of January 2015.
Will Palestine make specific referrals to the ICC?
As a State Party to the Rome Statute, the State of Palestine may make
referrals to the Court and may choose to do so at a later stage if it deems necessary.
This will depend upon how the preliminary investigation progresses.
What does this communication reflect?
The communication reflects the strong consensus amongst the Palestinian
people that we seek accountability and the prevention of crimes of concern to the
international community as a whole. Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute was
the outcome of a long process of internal discussion between the PLO, political
parties, civil society and other actors within Palestinian society, reaching the
consensus that Palestine should be a State Party to the ICC. In effect, this
submission reflects the State and its institutions’ willingness to assist the Office ofthe Prosecutor by providing information relevant to her preliminary examination
of the crimes committed in our territory.
What will this communication include?
The files to be presented to the court refer to war crimes and crimes
committed by individuals of the Israeli leadership. It will focus primarily on
providing the context within which a pattern of systematic interrelated crimes have
been committed within and throughout the Palestinian state, including through the
Israeli settlement regime, and the blockade and attacks against the Gaza Strip and
The information contained in the communication aims to demonstrate that
there are practices and policies which either triggered the commission of these
crimes, or which are criminal in and of themselves, or both. The files include
statistics on settlements, prisoners, as well as statistics on Israel's aggression and
attack on Gaza 2014
The communication will highlight the context within which a widespread
and systematic attack by Israeli leaders and agents is continually being perpetrated
against the Palestinian people.
What territory and which period of time does the communication include?
The State of Palestine, as recognized by the United Nations, includes all of
the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza governorates.
The communication is in line with the declaration lodged by the State of
Palestine on 1 January 2015 under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute in which
Palestine accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC. Consistent with the Rome Statute,
the communication outlines crimes committed in the occupied State of Palestine,
including East Jerusalem, since 13 June 2014.
Who prepared the files to be submitted?
The Higher National Committee prepared the communication file for the
ICC. This committee includes members of the PLO Executive Committee,
ministers and relevant ministerial bodies, and representatives of all political parties,
security forces and professional unions.By joining the court, Palestine seeks accountability for the widespread and blatant criminality which persists against it in hopes that this will provide a measure of protection by deterring future crime.
“It is time to put an end to the Palestinian tragedy by ensuring the rights of
Palestinians under international law”
H.E President Mahmoud Abbas, May 2015.