The Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, said today that the situation in Palestine is a real test of the credibility and authority of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a test it cannot afford to fail.
Speaking at the twenty-second session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Mansour emphasized that the Rome Statute, the foundational framework of the ICC, considers millions of children, women, and men as victims of unimaginable atrocities during the current century. He added that the statute is determined to end the impunity of those committing these crimes and contribute to their deterrence.
Mansour pointed to the ongoing crimes and atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian children, women, and men in the Gaza Strip over the past two months. He highlighted the daily struggles of 2.3 million Palestinians in
Gaza who are attempting to survive under the Israeli siege and bombardment, resulting in the tragic loss of over 16,000 Palestinian lives, including 7,000 children so far.
The Palestinian diplomat stressed that international criminal law unequivocally rejects justifications for any of these crimes. He reminded the assembly that Palestine joined the ICC nine years ago, at a time when crimes had been occurring for decades without accountability. ‘However, justice has been elusive, and the perpetrators have not been deterred, with not a single arrest warrant issued against any of them.’
Mansour outlined Israel’s systematic destruction of all aspects of life in Gaza, unfolding before the eyes of the global community. He condemned the continued Israeli shelling of Palestinian neighborhoods, targeting hospitals, United Nations shelters, mosques, and churches. The senior diplomat questioned why the international community adopted the Rome Statute if not to protect the very people who continue to suffer.
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA