State of Palestine

Situation in the State of Palestine

ICC-01/18

Focus: Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the Referral of the Situation to the Office of the Prosecutor.

On 3 March 2021, the Prosecutor announced the opening of the investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine. This followed Pre-Trial Chamber I's decision on 5 February 2021 that the Court could exercise its criminal jurisdiction in the Situation and, by majority, that the territorial scope of this jurisdiction extends to Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. 

DOCUMENTS

Background:

On 1 January 2015, the Government of The State of Palestine lodged a declaration under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute accepting the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court ("ICC") over alleged crimes committed "in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014". On 2 January 2015, The State of Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute by depositing its instrument of accession with the UN Secretary-General. The Rome Statute entered into force for The State of Palestine on 1 April 2015.

On 16 January 2015, the Prosecutor announced the opening of a preliminary examination into the Situation in the State of Palestine in order to determine whether the Rome Statute criteria for opening an investigation are met. Specifically, under article 53(1) of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor shall consider issues of jurisdiction, admissibility and the interests of justice in making this determination.

On 22 May 2018, pursuant to articles 13(a) and 14 of the Rome Statute, The State of Palestine referred to the Prosecutor the Situation since 13 June 2014, with no end date. Such a referral did not automatically lead to the opening of an investigation, since the Prosecutor still had to determine whether the statutory criteria to open an investigation were met.

On 20 December 2019, the Prosecutor announced that following a thorough, independent and objective assessment of the reliable information available to her Office, the preliminary examination into this Situation had concluded with the determination that all the statutory criteria under the Rome Statute for the opening of an investigation had been met. However, given the complex legal and factual issues attaching to this situation, she announced that she would be making a request to Pre-Trial Chamber I for a ruling to clarify the territorial scope of the Court's jurisdiction in this Situation. In the Prosecutor's request, dated 22 January 2020, the Office set out its legal position, and encouraged the Chamber to hear views and arguments from all stakeholders before deciding the specific jurisdictional question before it.

Pre-Trial Chamber I did so and on 28 January 2020 it issued an order setting the procedure and the schedule for the submission of observations on the Prosecutor's request.

On 17 November 2023, the Office received a further referral of the Situation in the State of Palestine, from South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros, and Djibouti. On receipt of the referral, the Prosecutor confirmed that it is presently conducting an investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine, which remains ongoing and extends to the escalation of hostilities and violence since the attacks that took place on 7 October 2023. On 18 January 2024, the Republic of Chile and the United Mexican State additionally submitted a referral to the Prosecutor with respect to the situation in The State of Palestine presently under investigation and reiterated their commitment to cooperate with the Court.

On 20 May 2024, the ICC Prosecutor filed applications for warrants of arrest before Pre-Trial Chamber I:

  • Concerning Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri (Deif), and Ismail Haniyeh for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed on the territory of Israel and the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least 7 October 2023;

  • Concerning Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed on the territory of the State of Palestine (in the Gaza strip) from at least 8 October 2023.

It is now for the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber I to decide whether the necessary standard for the issuance of warrants of arrest has been met.

Questions and Answers on the Decision on the International Criminal Court's territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in The State of Palestine : EnglishFrenchالعربيةעברית

Statement of ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, respecting an investigation of the Situation in The State of Palestine

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim A.A. Khan KC, on the Situation in the State of Palestine: receipt of a referral from five States Parties


For more information on the referral and to read the Prosecutor's statement please click here.

Questions and Answers on the Decision on the International Criminal Court's territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in The State of Palestine : EnglishFrenchالعربيةעברית