Shutterstock

The United Nations has given Palestine the go-ahead to become the 123rd member of the International Criminal Court, effective April 1 of this year.

This means that the perpetual conflict between Palestine, which was designated as a state by the U.N. in 2012, and Israel will take on new dimensions as it is given another international forum in which to play out, as The Associated Press noted Wednesday (via Chron.com):

Palestine exists in theory only, with Israel in full control of most of the occupied territory, but will be treated as a state at the ICC. Israel is not a member of the court and has no plans to join, but its actions in the Palestinian territories can now be investigated and prosecuted by the court.

WHAT CASES WILL THE PALESTINIANS SUBMIT?

They will focus on last year’s 50-day war between Israel and the Islamic militant Hamas group in Gaza and on Israeli settlement construction on occupied lands. More than 550,000 Israelis live in settlements built since 1967 in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The court’s 2002 founding charter says a state commits a war crime if it transfers its civilians to territory it occupies.

Palestinians, including members of Hamas as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, could also be the subjects of war crimes investigations at the ICC, the AP added.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig