Op-Ed via Al-Majdal

The ICC and the ‘Situation in Palestine’: Political Sensibilities and Procedural Hurdles

The Israel/Palestine context has long needed a game-changing moment. Since early 2015, when Palestine’s years-long struggle to trigger the International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction came to fruition, the question is whether the Court’s potential role will fit the bill. In BADIL’s survey of refugees living in UNRWA camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza about their three preferred channels to bring about a ‘durable solution’ to the conflict, 43 percent listed the ICC – a third place finish, behind the options of Security Council sanctions and supporting the BDS movement.

This apparent hesitance or at least lukewarm enthusiasm for the ICC’s potential is not misplaced. It is important to have an accurate understanding of the preliminary examination of the ‘situation in Palestine’, in view of the challenges to ICC action: its ability to face up to political pressure; its problematic professional track record, which has not inspired public confidence; and the procedural and substantive hurdles the prosecutor must overcome to bring forward a criminal case.

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