U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed Tuesday that "Palestine" would be joining the International Criminal Court on April 1.
The International Criminal Court late Monday announced that it had received documents from the Palestinians indicating they were moving toward going after Israelis for alleged war crimes on two separate tracks.
Last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute starting a countdown to when the PA could file war crimes complaints with the ICC Prosecutor's Office asking for an investigation.
The UN secretary-general issued a notification Tuesday stating that: "The Statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on 1 April 2015 in accordance with its article 126 (2) which reads as follows: 'For each State ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to this Statute after the deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the Statute shall enter into force on the first day of the month after the 60th day following the deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.'”
Monday's announcement indicated that the Palestinians had also filed an "Ad Hoc Declaration" for the ICC to investigate war crimes as of June 13, which would include both Operations Brother's Keeper and Protective Edge.
Ad Hoc Declaration function under different rules than the effect of joining the Rome Statute fully playing out, and while they have some greater limits, they can also potentially move on a faster track with less of a waiting period.
In other words, Palestinians alleged war crimes complaints might be able to move ahead faster on that track, while others might move ahead later once the signing of the Rome Statute takes full effect on April 1.
While June 13 had been a rumored starting point under consideration by the Palestinians, the announcement confirmed the date, as the Palestinians could have also tried to ask for investigations dating even farther back in time, such as to November 29, 2012 when the UN General Assembly declared "Palestine" a non-member state.