The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants today expressed its strong disapproval of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s statements on the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC), condemning what it described as “the German president’s departure from the rules of international law and interference in the work of the ICC, its decisions, and the decision of the Prosecutor to open a criminal investigation into crimes committed within its jurisdiction.”
It said in a statement that “the ICC has settled the issue of jurisdiction and its authority to investigate crimes committed by Israeli officials in the occupied territory of the state of Palestine.”
It stressed that “the status of the State of Palestine at the international level as a state with all rights and duties is not subject to the opinions of the German president or his state. Rather, it is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, which is an issue that has been resolved since the declaration of independence, leading to the State of Palestine’s obtaining the status of an observer state in the United Nations, and its active membership in the institutions of the international community.”
The Ministry called on the German president and Germany “to stop their biased stand which grants Israel immunity from accountability and punishment, and considers it a state above the law.”
It said it considers that these biased positions encourage Israel to commit its crimes and continue with its colonial project, consolidate its apartheid regime and racial discrimination while depriving the Palestinian people of their basic rights.
Steinmeier said in an interview with the Israeli Haaretz newspaper on the eve of his visit to Israel, which started yesterday, that he strongly opposes an investigation into Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians and that the ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel.
“The German government’s position is that the ICC has no jurisdiction in this matter due to the absence of Palestinian statehood,” he claimed.