I am a member of the Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group and feel very strongly that Palestinian rights and freedoms must be respected as we search for a viable two-state solution that can stand the test of time.
In his recent statement, the Prime Minister stated, the UK does “not accept the ICC has jurisdiction in this instance”. This position is based on the fact that Palestine is not a sovereign state and Israel is not a party to the Statute of Rome. This is a position shared by some of our closest allies, including the United States, Germany, Australia and Canada.
The ICC’s investigation was founded on a ruling that non-binding political resolutions made at the United Nations General Assembly conferred statehood upon the Palestinians – this is contrary to settled international legal principles. It also sought to determine the territory of a Palestinian state – this can only be determined through a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
I share your belief that the ICC is an important institution and the UK remains committed to bringing about positive change within the Court. To this end, the recent election of two leading UK jurists to the ICC shows that the UK is prioritising efforts to strengthen and reform the court and its international reputation.
The only route to a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is the resumption of direct negotiations without preconditions. The UK remains strongly committed to this and I will continue to personally make efforts to support this most important cause.