JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinians were upgraded to a non-state observer at the International Criminal Court based in The Hague.
The ICC made the move on the Palestine Liberation Organization on Monday during a summit meeting of its 122 member countries.
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, told the Palestinian Maan news agency that the move brings Palestine one step closer to becoming a full member of the court. He also said it would strengthen the case for Palestinian statehood since the ICC members consider Palestine to be a state.
Mansour told Maan that the new status at the ICC was “another victory for Palestinians at the international level, bringing them closer to restoring their rights, and opening the door wide to drag leaders of the Israeli occupation to the dock of this court, so the souls of the victims can finally rest in peace.”
Membership in the ICC, a treaty-based international court that is not part of the United Nations system, would grant Palestine the right to file war crimes charges with the court against Israel and Israeli figures.
In November 2012, the PLO was given the status of observer state at the United Nations.