Jerusalem on Tuesday played down the significance of the International Criminal Court’s recognition of Palestine as an “observer state,” saying that this is a “technical and administrative step” void of any real meaning.
The Palestinians, meanwhile, hailed the unanimous decision by the organizational body of 122 nation in New York to grant as an important step in achieving their final goal of formal membership.
The Palestinians want to sue Israel for war crimes before the ICC, but it is unclear if they can do so, because the ICC’s judicial body has not recognized them as a state. In addition, the Palestinians have not finalized their application to the court, but they have threatened to do so, should they fail in their pursuit for a UN Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
On Monday, they received a moral boost from a small procedural decision to grant them the status of observer nation at the start of a meeting of the Assembly of the State Parties of the Rome Statute of the ICC to elect six judges, which took place at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan.