Last Update 21:38
Saturday, 19 October 2019

UK 'assessing implications' of Palestinian ICC move

The United Kingdom assesses the implications of the Palestinian decision to join the International Criminal Court, hinting that is an unilateral stop which makes peace harder.

Marwan Sultan in London, Friday 2 Jan 2015
Views: 1257
Views: 1257

The British government is “assessing  the implications” of  the Palestinian decision to apply for membership of the International Criminal Court, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office told Ahram Online.

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, on Wednesday signed about 20 international treaties, including the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty.

“We are assessing the implications” of the move, an FCO spokesperson told Ahram Online.

The US has condemned Abbas’s actions as "an escalatory step" on the part of the Palestinians, suggesting it “is entirely counter-productive and does nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state."

Last July, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond reiterated his country’s determination to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the worst atrocities by supporting the ICC.

Hammond said he is proud that the UK “is at the forefront of global efforts to strengthen international justice and to ensure the voices of victims will always be heard.”

By joining the ICC, the Palestinians hope to hold the Israeli military and government accountable for their actions in the occupied territories and the Gaza Strip.

However, the UK believes that Palestine's membership of the ICC should be negotiated within the peace process with Israel, hinting Abbas’ decision wouldn’t help peace efforts.  

"Our priority remains achievement of a two-state solution,” the FCO spokesperson said.

She echoed the US view that negotiations between the two sides are the only "realistic path" towards peace.

“We continue to believe that the best way to achieve this in reality and on the ground is through negotiations." she said.

The Palestinian move follows the rejection of a UN Security Council Palestinian-worded draft resolution demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories by the end of 2017.

While the UK abstained, eight members of the 15-strong UNSC voted for that resolution and the US and Australia voted against it.

The British government called on “all parties not to take unilateral steps which would make the search for peace based on negotiations harder.”

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.