The International Association of Democratic Lawyers salutes the historic International Criminal Court ruling confirming its jurisdiction over war crimes committed throughout occupied Palestinian territory.
We urge the ICC Prosecutor to move swiftly to investigate grave crimes committed by Israel during its 2014 war against Gaza; the killing and wounding of thousands of unarmed demonstrators during the Great March of Return 2018-2019; and the ongoing expansion of illegal settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The 5 February 2021 decision has made history, not only for Palestinians but for war crimes victims across the globe. This decision affirms the ICC’s independence and credibility by not only rejecting Israel’s asserted impunity but by standing up to the threats and intimidation of the discredited Trump administration.
IADL filed an amicus brief in this case, asserting that the court’s authority would be strengthened by confirming its jurisdiction over the State of Palestine, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and by opening an investigation into the Palestinian situation. Our brief concluded: “Thereby the equal rights of all peoples to justice for international crimes will receive much-needed affirmation.”
IADL also calls on President Biden’s administration to demonstrate its support for international justice by revoking Executive Order 13928, issued by his predecessor, and to direct that no steps shall be taken to threaten or punish persons and/or entities engaged with the International Criminal Court.
We salute the decades-long tireless work and professionalism of our eminent friend and colleague, Raji Sourani, and of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al-Haq, Al-Dameer, Al Mezan, Defense for Children International Palestine, the Center for Constitutional Rights and all who have worked to document abuses and ensure that their right to justice will continue to receive much-needed affirmation.