The Palestinian question is already an inherent conflict in the Middle East. Ever since the United Nations decided to divide Palestine into two independent states, one Palestinian and the other Jewish, conflicts and tensions between Arab countries and Israel have not ceased. And it is only now that an agreement that satisfies all parties involved in the conflict has been reached.
During an extraordinary ministerial session of the Council of the League of Arab States, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash, re-emphasised his country's position, which continues to support the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
The UAE foreign minister also called for the need to prioritise diplomatic efforts to resolve crises in the region. During the session, Arab leaders affirmed their commitment to a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem. For its part, Palestine again insisted on an international conference to ensure serious negotiations with Israel.
The Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said that "peace must be based on truth and that the two-state solution is a path that has Arab consensus". During the meeting, he said that the political solution to the Palestinian question cannot be imposed through unilateral decisions and that it is necessary to go through negotiation. He added that Arab countries speak with one voice when it comes to Palestine.
All these statements by the Arab world's top leaders come shortly after the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories by both Israel and Hamas.
It is a resolution that answers the question posed in 2019 by prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who found in her preliminary examination that there was a "reasonable basis" to investigate the situation in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, finding that "war crimes have been or are being committed".
The ICC Office of the Prosecutor has identified both the Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinian armed group Hamas as the alleged perpetrators. The office considers that the former intentionally and disproportionately targeted civilians and medical personnel. It also maintains that the latter fired missiles indiscriminately at Israel during the 2014 war.
Palestine has welcomed this decision with joy and hope. The Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement that it was a "historic day for the principle of responsibility". In the same vein, Nabil Shaath, a senior aide to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, welcomed the decision and said that "the next step is to launch an official investigation into Israel's crimes against our people".
For its part, the Jewish state accuses The Hague of anti-Semitism for investigating alleged Israeli war crimes. Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has expressed his outrage at the news on social media: "My response to the ICC decision: If it is true that the ICC is making a list of so-called Israeli suspects, I ask that my name be put at the top of that list," he wrote on his twitter account.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reaction was also swift, accusing the ICC of "ignoring real war crimes" and "persecuting Israel, a country with a strong democratic regime, which sanctifies the rule of law and is not a member of the court".
The document drafted in The Hague states that Palestine is a state that has been a member of the court since 2015 and rules that it covers the territories of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, which have been militarily occupied by Israel since 1967.