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Palestine to join International Criminal Court in April: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has accepted the request by Palestine to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying the ICC admission will take place April 1, a move that could lead to possible war crime complaints against Israel, according to a UN source.



United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has accepted the request by Palestine to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying the ICC admission will take place April 1, a move that could lead to possible war crime complaints against Israel, according to a UN source.

The world organisation on Friday confirmed receiving documents presented by the permanent observer of Palestine to the UN, Riyad Mansour, relating to the accession of Palestine to 16 multilateral treaties in respect of which the secretary-general is the depositary, including the Rome Statute of the ICC.

"In conformity with the relevant international rules and his practice as a depositary, the secretary-general has ascertained that the instruments received were in due and proper form before accepting them for deposit, and has informed all States concerned accordingly through the circulation of depositary notifications," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric in a note to reporters here Wednesday.

"This is an administrative function performed by the (UN) Secretariat as part of the secretary-general`s responsibilities as depositary for these treaties," the spokesman said.

"It is important to emphasise that it is for states to make their own determination with respect to any legal issues raised by instruments circulated by the secretary-general."

In a statement posted on the treaty website of the UN, Ban said that his acceptance of the documents means "the statute will enter into force for the state of Palestine April 1, 2015" in accordance to the ICC`s procedure.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday signed on joining 20 treaties and agencies, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) after UN Security Council rejected a draft resolution to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinians have asked the ICC to investigate war crimes committed by Israel during the 50-day Gaza War in July and August 2014, in which nearly 2,200 Palestinians were killed, including more than 400 children, according to UN report.
 

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