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Palestinians to Join ICC in April

  • VOA News

FILE - The entrance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is seen in The Hague.

FILE - The entrance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is seen in The Hague.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has issued a notification saying the Palestinians will join the International Criminal Court on April 1.

The notice dated Tuesday is posted on the U.N.'s treaty database website among a number of other accepted agreements Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed last week.

The move will allow the Palestinians to seek war crimes charges against Israel, but could also lead to Palestinians facing charges of their own.

Abbas pursued joining the ICC after the U.N. Security Council rejected a draft resolution that would have set a deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state on lands occupied by Israel after the 1967 war.

The issue has drawn criticism from Israel, which froze the transfer of $125 million in tax revenue payments to the Palestinians.

The United States also opposes the move, preferring instead that Israeli-Palestinian issues be decided through negotiations and not actions at the U.N.

The Hague-based ICC prosecutes suspects accused of genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity. It has no power to make arrests, but does have the authority to issue arrest warrants, which could make it a problem for suspects to travel.

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