February 5, 2021, New York – In response to a decision issued today by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court, recognizing that the territory of the State of Palestine – Gaza and the West Bank including East Jerusalem – falls within Court’s jurisdiction for investigation, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
We applaud today’s decision, in particular its recognition of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and its rejection of the idea that cases with “political consequences” are somehow beyond the reach of judicial scrutiny. In the wake of attempts by the Trump administration to intimidate and punish the ICC prosecutor for moving to open an investigation into Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity, today’s decision is a powerful and necessary assertion of the rule of law. The ICC’s decision is a testament to the decades-long principled and tireless efforts by Palestinian advocates, often at personal risk and under difficult circumstancces, to break the cycle of impunity for crimes committed against Palestinian civilians. Today marks an important step in a broader human rights struggle towards justice for Palestine.
We call on the Biden administration to rescind the Executive Order 13928 without further delay. This dangerous and misguided EO impedes the work of the ICC and threatens to punish those, including lawyers, who support the necessary investigations of U.S. crimes in the Situation of Afghanistan or committed in Palestine.
Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher serves as legal representative to Palestinian victims in the Situation of Palestine and submitted a brief on their behalf in support of opening an investigation. For more information, visit the Center for Constitutional Rights case page.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.