On 5 February 2021, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided that is has jurisdiction to investigate potential crimes committed by Israel in the territories it has occupied since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

This decision does not prejudge the exact status of the State of Palestine or its borders; it applies exclusively to the jurisdiction of the Court.

The Court relied on resolution 67/19 adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2012, which “[reaffirmed] the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967”.

This decision clears the way for a conviction of Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. However, it remains to be established whether certain clauses of the Oslo Accords would prevent the Court from summoning to appear, or even issuing warrants against suspected criminals, namely members of the Israel Defense Forces (Tzahal) and the Israeli government.

Until now, no one has been held accountable for the crimes carried out in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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