Palestine secures observer status at International Criminal Court
Palestine's status was also upgraded by the UN General Assembly to a non-member observer state in November, 2012. (AFP/File)
Palestine has secured an observer status at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which paves the way for the Palestinians to sue senior Israeli officials for war crimes.
The position was granted to Palestine at the summit meeting of the 122 ICC member states in New York on Monday.
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said the move paved the way for Palestine membership in the ICC, adding that the Palestinian government is moving in that direction "but that's another step in that process."
The Palestinian envoy further called the move "a further enhancement of our status" in the court, whose headquarters are at The Hague in the Netherlands, and in the international arena.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had threatened to join the court to sue Israel over crimes against Palestinians.
On November 29, 2012, the 193-member UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of Jerusalem.
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