The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians signs open letters in support of Al-Haq, and five other Palestinian civil society organisations targeted by Israel 

Ahead of the 21st session of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute, Al-Haq has penned an open letter to the President of the ASP, Ms Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, and to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr Karim Khan, calling on both to condemn Israel’s designation of 6 Palestinian civil society organisations as “terrorists”. 

The letter to the Prosecutor highlights the missed opportunities in the past year to issue public preventive statements on the situation in Palestine, particularly in light of the Office of the Prosecutor’s (OTP) policy paper which allows the OTP to “react promptly to upsurges of violence” by issuing statements “to deter the escalation of violence and the further commission of crimes” and “to put perpetrators on notice”. 

The issuance of preventative statements by former Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda successfully averted Israel’s planned forced evictions of the Bedouin community in the West Bank due to concerns over an ICC investigation, proving that such statements, when issued, can provide effective deterrence.  


The letter also calls on Prosecutor Khan to visit the OPT, and to expedite his Office’s investigation in to the Situation in Palestine, including the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, a finding which has been made by the UN and leading Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organisations. 


The letter to the President of the ASP highlights the statements delivered by Palestinian organisations during the 20th session of the ASP, calling for a condemnation of Israel’s designation of Palestinian civil society organisations, and warning that the Israeli Government would only seek to escalate its repression of Palestinian civil society. 

The letter notes that while Israel retains the right to attend ASPs as an observer state, its continued efforts to undermine the work of the court, including by targeting civil society organisations that assist and cooperate with the ICC, breach the responsibility that Israel holds as an observer state to act in a manner that respects the court’s mandate. 

 The letter calls on the President of the ASP to implement her proposal for recommendation 169 of the Independent Expert Review, which places upon her Office the responsibility to coordinate appropriate responses from the Assembly to any ‘threat or attack against the Court, its officials, and those cooperating with it’. 

The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians, alongside 197 other human rights organisations and advocacy groups, has signed both letters in full support of the requests made by Al-Haq in relation to these issues, and calls upon both the Office of the Prosecutor, and the President of the ASP, to engage with the recommendations and requests contained therein. 

The full text of both letters can be found here