April 3, 2012 – New York – AJC welcomed the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor’s rejection of a petition to recognize a Palestinian state that does not yet exist. The Palestinian gambit was aimed at securing ICC jurisdiction over Palestinian Authority claims against Israel. Only states can file actions in the ICC.
“Once again, a Palestinian Authority (PA) effort to achieve statehood without negotiating with Israel has been rebuffed by a responsible international body,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “The ICC Prosecutor’s decision adds a legal defeat to the political defeat at the UN of the Palestinian Authority, when its unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) failed to gain enough votes in the Security Council last Fall.”
Indeed, one of the key factors the ICC Prosecutor cited in deciding that Palestine is not a state was the failure to obtain UN recognition. The PA had sought ICC intervention to pillory Israel for defending itself against incessant rocket and mortar fire from Gaza.
“The only way to achieve Palestinian statehood and sustainable peace is through direct negotiations with Israel,” said Harris. “If he is serious about statehood and peace with Israel, Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas should abandon the fruitless strategy of appealing to international organizations and return to the negotiating table.”