Palestine FM meets ICC reps in Hague
Published Tuesday 05/08/2014 (updated) 06/08/2014 22:09
A Palestinian man inspects a damaged apartment block in the
northern Gaza Strip on Aug. 5, 2014 (AFP Marco Longari)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs met with officials of the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands to discuss the Israeli offensive on Gaza on Tuesday, a statement said.
During his visit, Riyad al-Maliki inquired about the legal procedures necessary for Palestine to join the ICC and sign the Rome Statute in order to take action against possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza, the statement said.
Al-Maliki said he would consult members of the Palestinian Authority government on the matter after his visit.
A 2009 attempt by to join the ICC in 2009 failed because of Palestine's lack of statehood.
But Al-Maliki said Tuesday that Palestine should now quality for ICC membership due to its status as a UN nonmember observer state, AP reported.
Israel is not a member of the ICC and does not recognize its authority, but the UN Security Council could call for an ICC investigation into potential Israeli war crimes.
International human rights organizations have over the course of the 28-day offensive condemned various Israeli actions in Gaza as violations of the laws of war.
On Monday, Human Rights Watch released a report on an investigation that found that Israeli forces had targeted medical workers and fleeing civilians in Khuzaa.
An earlier HRW report that investigated Israeli airstrikes that killed civilians said that in many cases, no military target could be identified in the vicinity of the strike. The rights group was "gravely concerned" that Israel was intentional hitting civilian targets.
Israel's offensive on Gaza has left some 1,875 Palestinians dead, over 80 percent of them civilians, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.