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UN chief defends Palestinian right to join ICC

January 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday defended the State of Palestine’s right to join the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the Anadolu Agency reported.

Ban told reporters after an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York: “The Palestinians have the right to join the International Criminal Court, having acquired the status of non-member State of the United Nations.”

The United Nations General Assembly voted by a majority in the November 29, 2012, to grant Palestine a non- member state of the UN.

He said: “The Palestinians status at the United Nations allows them to join the International Criminal Court. It is their right. The statute will enter into force on April 1, 2015.”

“This step is a separate step from the peace process. We are talking about a comprehensive peace process, and I call upon the Palestinian and Israeli sides to cooperate and sit together and discuss the root causes of conflict.”

The UN chief warned of a “tragic accident” between the two sides if the current situation continued. “I believe that if the current situation continues, we will witness a tragic incident such as the one that took place between the two sides last summer,” in reference to the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip which claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians, including nearly 500 children.