SHAFAQNA – Palestine is soon to have its day in court, after securing long-awaited membership at The Hague. Plagued by constant setbacks to a peace deal with Israel, the ICC newcomer wants to see Tel Aviv on the stand for alleged war crimes in Gaza. The April 1 accession to the International Criminal Court is the most substantial step to date in Palestine’s international legal campaign to seek justice for Israel’s operation ‘Protective Edge’ last summer, in which thousands of civilians were killed. Shortly before the summer assaults, Israel insisted that Hamas was firing rockets into its territory and answered with massive bombardment, complete with a ground phase that saw destruction on a scale not seen for decades. After 50 days, a ceasefire was agreed upon.
ICC membership has been years in the making. It comes after Palestine gained UN observers status, followed by an increasing number of European countries recognizing them as an independent state or considering it. Israel’s operation tipped the balance in the Palestinians’ favor.