On 10 March 2020, Palestinian, regional, and international human rights groups and civil society organisations engaged in a social media Twitter storm calling for the immediate opening of an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the Situation in Palestine, in order to ensure justice and accountability for Palestinian victims of suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territory.
On 20 December 2019, the ICC Prosecutor announced the conclusion of her preliminary examination into the Situation in Palestine and requested a ruling by the Pre-Trial Chamber on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in Palestine. Since then, States, civil society organisations, and academics have been invited to submit their observations to the Court in the form of amicus curiae (friends of the court) briefs on the question of jurisdiction, to be filed by 16 March 2020.
Four Palestinian human rights groups, including Al-Haq, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and Al Dameer Association for Human Rights have been authorised to file their joint observations to the Court.
Along with the Palestinian Bar Association, and a group of renowned academics and practitioners, the organisations have argued in favour of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction over the entirety of the occupied Palestinian territory, comprising the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and urged the immediate opening of an ICC investigation.
The Twitter and social media storm by Palestinian, regional, and international civil society organisations aimed to support an investigation by the ICC and to urge the Court to proceed in delivering justice to Palestinian victims, ahead of the submission of amici next week.
#Palestinian rights groups @alhaq_org @pchrgaza @AlMezanCenter @ALDAMEER to @IntlCrimCourt: Often the belligerent occupant will re-arrange boundaries within the context of #occupation. This does not compromise #statehood. #ICC #OpenInvestigation #EndImpunity #EradicateColonialism pic.twitter.com/7nDq7N6780— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020
Third #States have an obligation to put an end to suspected #crimes committed in #Palestine by calling for an investigation by the @IntlCrimCourt. Impeding an #ICC investigation sends the message that #impunity prevails. #Justice4Palestinians #OpenInvestigation #EndImpunity pic.twitter.com/BCUOSD1KtK— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020
#Palestinian Bar Association to @IntlCrimCourt: it is not the #ICC’s role to “resolve questions on disputed sovereignties that normally States settle by treaties, customs or decisions of competent international organizations and tribunals” #Justice4Palestinians #OpenInvestigation pic.twitter.com/fl7ClVGIAH— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020
#Palestinian academics @AsemKhalil & Hala Shoaibi to @IntlCrimCourt: the #OsloAccords can’t be interpreted as intending to prevent the State of #Palestine from delegating jurisdiction over intl #crimes to an intl court. #ICC #Justice4Palestinians #OpenInvestigation #EndImpunity pic.twitter.com/w6KAF6myYh— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020
Former #UNSR on #Palestine @rfalk13 to @IntlCrimCourt: the #OsloAccords at any rate cannot override the inherent and #inalienable right of #selfdetermination belonging to the #Palestinian people. #ICC #Justice4Palestinians #OpenInvestigation #EndImpunity #EradicateColonialism pic.twitter.com/0Y1ovpsc6w— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020
@WilliamSchabas1 to @IntlCrimCourt: “Many States Parties have borders that are disputed…Uncertainty about borders has never prevented a State from acceding to the #RomeStatute & cannot prevent the #ICC from exercising its jurisdiction.” #Justice4Palestinians #OpenInvestigation pic.twitter.com/wMtDjloZKQ— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020
French-US professor #FrankRomano: if @IntlCrimCourt fails to examine the entirety of the West Bank, East #Jerusalem & #Gaza it will legitimise the continued #fragmentation of #Palestine similar to the former #apartheid regime in South Africa. #ICC #OpenInvestigation #EndImpunity pic.twitter.com/c1RUbPirzF— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020
@DRJDHandmaker to @IntlCrimCourt: the broad consensus of intl lawyers, based on the doctrine of #selfdetermination is that the West Bank, including East #Jerusalem and the #Gaza Strip are all territories integral of the State of #Palestine. #ICC #OpenInvestigation #EndImpunity pic.twitter.com/UAFJseKBMs— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020
#Palestinian academic @HatemBazian to @IntlCrimCourt: the Balfour Declaration & granting the Mandate authority to Britain violated intl law & set in motion 70 years of denial of #sovereignty rights & #selfdetermination for Palestinians in their ancestral homeland. #EndImpunity pic.twitter.com/Z294SFeUkn— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) March 10, 2020