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Welcome to the General Delegation of Palestine

The General Delegation of Palestine is the diplomatic representation for Palestine to Australia, New Zealand, Timor Leste and the Pacific.

As the diplomatic representation for Palestine, the General Delegation works to strengthen and deepen friendly relations between the Palestinian people and the people of the Australia-Pacific region. The General Delegation liaises directly with all levels of government, developing political, social and economic initiatives and projects that are of interest and benefit to both peoples.

Through its office in Canberra, the Delegation provides a range of consular and information services to Palestinians living in Australia, and to Australians interested in Palestine.

For details on the how to contact the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, go to the Contact tab above.
 

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Questions and Answers on the Accession of the State of Palestine to the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Why was the ICC established?
The International community established the ICC in July 2002 to prevent the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression and to hold accountable those who commit such atrocities. The preamble of the Rome Statute refers to the State parties' determination“to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes andthus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes”
Why did Palestine join the ICC?
Palestine’s policy to become party to core human rights and international humanitarian law instruments as well as the Rome Statute reflects Palestine’s unwavering commitment to peace, universal values, and determination to provide protection for its people and hold those responsible accountable for the crimes they have committed.
The State of Palestine has joined 41 international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, as well as the core International Human Rights Treaties.
The State of Palestine has decided to pursue an internationalization approach to achieve the long overdue inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to put an end to decades of colonization, dispossession, forced displacement and massacres, including the 2014 Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in the occupied Gaza Strip.
When did Palestine sign its accession to the Rome Statute?
The State of Palestine lodged on 1 January 2015 a declaration under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC over alleged crimes committed "in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014." On 7 January 2015, the Registrar of the ICC informed President Abbas of his acceptance of the article 12(3) declaration lodged by the Government of Palestine on 1 January 2015 and that the declaration had been transmitted to the Prosecutor for her consideration.
After the presidential announcement to join the Rome Statute on December 31st 2014, the State of Palestine deposited on 2 January 2015 its instrument of accession to the Rome Statute with the UN Secretary General. On 6 January 2015, the UN Secretary General, acting in his capacity as depositary, accepted Palestine's accession to the Rome Statute, and Palestine became the 123State Party to the ICC. It was welcomed as such by the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute. The Statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on 1 April 2015.
What’s the legal status of the State of Palestine?
Palestine is a state under a foreign military occupation, the oldest foreign occupation in modern history. The State of Palestine has been recognized by 135 states and has established diplomatic relations with almost 180 states. In its resolution 67/19, the UN General Assembly granted the State of Palestine nonmember observer status. The borders of the State of Palestine are those of the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in June 1967, including Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Aren’t Palestinians threatening the chances to achieve peace with Israel by joining the ICC?
No. It is war crimes and war criminals who undermine peace efforts. In fact, justice does not contradict the principle of negotiations. Both are necessary to reach a final status agreement. Supporting Palestine’s legal and diplomatic initiatives contributes to the advancement of international law and thus strengthens the possibility of reaching a just and lasting peace based on the internationally recognized terms of reference of the international law. Accountability and peace are mutually reinforcing. By seeking accountability, Palestine is contributing to the achievement of peace in the region. The preamble of the Rome Statute recognizes “that such grave crimes threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world”. Only accountability and redress can bring justice and prevent the recurrence of such crimes in the future.
Is Israel member of any international treaty or organization?
Yes. Though Israel doesn’t accept international jurisdiction, it was in fact created by a UN General Assembly resolution. It is important to note that Israel has been granted access to international treaties and organizations despite the fact of its status as an Occupying Power, of not having recognized borders and despite its gross violations of countless UN resolutions and agreements.
Who can refer situations to the ICC?
Only the UN Security Council and States parties to the Rome Statute can refer situations to the Prosecutor, but submissions are open not only for states, but also for individuals and organizations.
Did the Prosecutor undertake any step to examine the situation in Palestine?
Yes. The State of Palestine lodged a declaration under article 12(3) accepting jurisdiction of the ICC for the purpose of identifying, prosecuting and judging authors, and accomplices of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court committed in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014.
Upon receipt of the declaration lodged by the State of Palestine, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, opened, on 16 January 2015, a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine.
A preliminary examination is a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation pursuant to the criteria established by the Rome Statute.
Are Palestinians willing to cooperate with the Court? 
Yes. The decision to join the ICC came as a result of an overwhelming consensus within the Palestinian people, Palestinian political parties and civil society institutions. The State of Palestine is committed to cooperate with the court, and this commitment has been reflected in the instrument of accession to the Rome Statute and through the signing of the Agreement on the privileges and immunities of the ICC.
 
 

Highlights

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30 April 2015

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in the Yarmouk camp

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the shelling and aerial bombardment of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus on 28 April despite assurances from the Syrian Government that the camp would not be attacked while civilians remained inside. Thousands of civilians in the camp are besieged by terrorist and other armed groups on the inside and Government forces on the outside.

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29 April 2015

H.E President Abbas: It’s Time for Palestine

Op-Ed by H.E President Mahmoud Abbas “It’s Time for Palestine” published in the Spring 2015 Edition of Horizons Magazine. (http://www.cirsd.org/magazines).

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29 April 2015

Israel responsible for Gaza strikes on UN schools and shelters, inquiry finds

Israel was responsible for striking seven United Nations sites used as civilian shelters during the 2014 Gaza war in which 44 Palestinians died and 227 others were injured, an inquiry ordered by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has concluded.

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29 April 2015

NEW TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR LABOR MPs

NSW Labor leader Luke Foley announced yesterday that any Labor MPs receiving assisted travel to Israel would be expected to spend an equivalent time in the West Bank and/or Gaza to hear the case of the Palestinians. "Labor believes in a two-state solution. A two-state solution must be built on understanding the perspective of two peoples".

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24 April 2015

Jokowi to open Indonesian mission in Ramallah

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who chose Palestinian issues as one of his major foreign policy platforms in last year’s presidential election campaign, has taken his first concrete step in support of Palestinian independence with a decision to open an Indonesian representative office in Ramallah. - See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/04/22/jokowi-open-indonesian-mission-ramallah.html#sthash.4IDNckcj.dpuf

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