UNITED NATIONS — The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad H. Mansour, formally submitted papers for the Palestinians to join the treaty creating the International Criminal Court, paving the way for the tribunal to potentially investigate serious crimes on Palestinian lands committed by either side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The submission of the documents comes two days after the President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority signed papers acceding to the Rome Statute, which created the court in 2002. According to that treaty, the court, which is based in The Hague, could have authority over Palestinian territory as early as April 1. Israel is not one of the court’s members.
“We are honored to be the 123rd state party to the I.C.C.,” Mr. Mansour said Friday. The Palestinians have had the right to join the court since November 2012, when they became a “nonmember observer state” of the United Nations General Assembly.
Among the conventions and treaties the Palestinians signed are those that concern cluster munitions and the rights of women. Mr. Mansour said the Palestinians had also asked the court to retroactively examine potential crimes dating to last summer’s war in Gaza.
Israel vowed to “take steps in response” if the Palestinians tried to join the court, according to a statement this week from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinians Submit Papers to U.N. to Join International Criminal Court – NYTimes.com.