A lot has happened before the International Criminal Court since we last reported on the Palestine and related situations. The timeline below picks up where my last timeline of relevant events left off. At that time, the Prosecutor had opened a preliminary examination into the Comoros referral based upon events on the Mavi Marmara, which was part of the Gaza freedom flotilla. The Prosecutor subsequently closed that examination on gravity grounds in November 2014. A month later, Palestine acceded to the ICC Statute, putting its territory—however that is to be defined—under ICC jurisdiction. The Office of the Prosecutor subsequently opened a preliminary examination into alleged crimes committed in occupied territory since June 13, 2014, when violence erupted anew in the region. Furthermore, the Comoros asked the Prosecutor to reconsider the decision to close the preliminary examination on its referral. A Pre-Trial Chamber requested the Prosecutor “reconsider her decision not to initiate an investigation.” At present, the Prosecutor has yet to announce the results of this “reconsideration,” which raises interesting questions of prosecutorial discretion. It is expected that the Prosecutor will update the Assembly of States Parties on both open situations at the next meeting of states in December 2017.
An updated timeline of events:
January 20, 2014: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon endorsed the two-state solution outlined in the Road Map plan, saying that
Palestinians must be able to realize their legitimate aspirations to statehood, self-determination, dignity, and freedom, including an end to the occupation that began in 1967 with a just solution to the plight of refugees, and a resolution of the status of Jerusalem.
February 12, 2014: Israel joined the JUSCANZ consultative body to the UN Third Committee, comprised of 15 non-EU democratic countries. The UN Third Committeecovers social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues. Israel was previously admitted with limited participatory privileges in 2010. The U.S. released a statementpraising Israel’s full admission as an important step forward in Israel’s engagement with the world.