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Palestine joins war crimes court
01 Apr 2015 12:12
The Palestinian Authority has joined the International Criminal Court, potentially giving the world's permanent war crimes tribunal jurisdiction over future crimes.
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The move was marked at a signing ceremony in The Hague that was attended by diplomats and officials from more than 100 countries but not Israel, which is not a member of the court.
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Rights groups welcomed the step as a signal that the Palestinian Authority favours the rule of law over violence, but Israel has said it damages peace prospects and will not cooperate with the court.
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From 1 April, ICC prosecutors will have jurisdiction over all future crimes committed on Palestinian territory or by Palestinian citizens.
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The ICC is a court of last resort, handling the most serious crimes when local authorities are unable or unwilling to deal with them.
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Israel opposes Palestinian membership in the court, a distant successor of the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after World War II, and lobbied unsuccessfully for its western allies to cut funding.
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