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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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27 May 2015

May 26, 2015 - Dr. Ashrawi: "The annexation of settlement blocs is unacceptable and illegal"

In response to media inquiries regarding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent statements regarding the annexation of illegal settlement blocs, PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi commented: “This is a disingenuous and manipulative exercise of political and legal deception. All settlements are illegal and in flagrant contravention of international law and consensus, and any efforts to annex and to legalize the settlements blocs is a blatant attempt to steal more Palestinian land and to legitimize Israel’s ongoing system of apartheid, land theft and expansion.

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22 May 2015

Strangled: Gaza Collapsing in the Grip of a Humanitarian Crisis

In a press release issued on May 20th, The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor urgently calls on the international community to: 1.Bring all available pressures to bear on the Israeli government to end the blockade of Gaza. 2.Call on the Israeli government to end the targeting of innocent fishermen, farmers and other citizens, a practice in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention. 3.Prevail upon the Egyptian government, using foreign aid as a lever, to open the Rafah crossing, without any restrictions. 4.Investigate and hold the Israeli government accountable when it is charged with war crimes and ongoing violations of human rights. No barriers should be placed that hinder the ability of Palestinians or others to seek relief from third parties such as the International Criminal Court. 5.Support the Palestinian call for a commercial seaport in Gaza that guarantees the free import and export of goods and private international travel.

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19 May 2015

Abbas responds to Netanyahu: No Mideast peace without East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh told Palestinian news agency Wafa on Monday that there would be no peace or stability in the Mideast unless the Palestinians can claim East Jerusalem as their capital. He also said Netanyahu's remarks were a clear violation of UN resolutions, and the stances of the international community and the Arab League.

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19 May 2015

After the budget last week, overall aid allocated to Palestine has been reduced.

total Official Development Assistance to Palestine for 2015-16 is expected to total $42.1 million, down from $56.5 million in 2014-15, a total cut of 25% ($14.4 million). To place this in context, total Australian Official Development Assistance for its world program fell by 20% ($1 billion) with this year’s budget.

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15 May 2015

May 13, 2015 - Dr. Ashrawi: “The Nakba did not end with the creation of Israel; rather, it is an ongoing process that seeks to displace Palestine and replace it with ‘Greater Israel’ at the expense of its people and their rights”

On the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the Nakba, PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi stated: "In 1948, Israel destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages and took control of an additional 774, and more than 800,000 Palestinians were forced to become refugees.

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H.E. Ambassador Abdulhadi attended a Nakba commemorative and awards dinner in Sydney on Sunday, 10 May

H.E. Ambassador Abdulhadi attended a commemorative and awards dinner in Sydney on Sunday, 10 May. The dinner is an annual event organised by the General Union of Palestinian Workers, the Australian-Palestinian Club, and the Graduates Association. It is a significant occasion serving several purposes. Firstly, as a reflection on the past, held in remembrance of the Nakba. On the other hand, it embraces an appreciation for a robust future, by honouring graduates and high achievers in the Palestinian-Australian community. The Ambassador observed in his opening speech: “Combining the two events is not a coincidence in my opinion; it sends a strong message of the continuity of the Palestinian struggle and how the Palestinian issue is inherited from generation to generation. The message is: our parents did not forget, we do not forget and the young generation will not forget the story of dispossession and occupation.” Many distinguished guests were in attendance, including Jihad Dib MP (the first Muslim parliamentarian), Paul Lynch MP, Senator Lee Rhiannon, the Mayor of Canterbury Brian Robson, Prof. Jake Lynch, Prof. Stuart Rees, Dr. Peter Manning, and a group of Palestinian community leaders. The Ambassador’s speech was followed by speeches from Jihad Dib MP, Paul Lynch MP, Senator Lee Rhiannon and Prof. Jake Lynch. The Ambassador had the great honour of passing on the awards to those recognised. He mentioned that: “Young Palestinian leadership can create the best integration within Australian society and this will serve the interests of the Palestinian community and the Australian community.” He went on, with confidence, to make clear that, despite the tragedy of the Nakba, 67 years on: “There is an old saying and it goes like this, ‘If the story doesn’t have a happy ending, the story isn’t over yet’. For Palestine, the story is not over yet. The story has a happy ending and we are working our way towards it. And the ending of the story is, a fully sovereign Palestinian state in which Palestinians are free to own, and to determine their own future. Until we reach that end, let’s continue to be partners on the journey.”

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The Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine Dr Riad Malki ended a successful visit to New Zealand May 1 – May 2/2015

Dr Malki, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, was in Auckland last week and met with Hon Murray McCully, the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, at his office in Auckland. Minister Malki thanked the New Zealand government for its continuous support to the Palestinian cause in particular the condemnation of the Israeli illegal settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the role of New Zealand in the Security Council as, a non- permanent member, especially with regards to Israel- Palestine conflict. The two ministers discussed the French draft resolution to the Security Council to end the Israeli occupation, and the New Zealand efforts to complement this Resolution and to support the French initiative. The New Zealand Foreign Minister outlined the vision and approach of the New Zealand Government to solve the problem and the intention of the New Zealand government to talk and coordinate with all parties to guarantee a successful voting on the resolution to end the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian Minster, also, met with Shadow Foreign Minister, Hon David Sherier, and delivered a lecture at Auckland University. It is worth mentioning that Hon McCully will visit Palestine on June 4th to continue his discussion with the Palestinian officials.

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The Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine Dr Riad Malki ended a successful visit to Australia April 29 – 30/2015

Dr Malki, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, was in Sydney last week and met with Hon Julie Bishop, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, at her office in Sydney. The Palestinian Minster explained to his counterpart the latest on the Israel- Palestine conflict, in particular the Palestinian attempts to end the Israeli occupation through Security Council. The Palestinian Minister introduced the new Palestinian approach and Modus Operandi to solve the conflict moving from bi lateral negotiations to multilateral approach. In response to the Minister’s questions on the role of ISIS in the region, the Minister clarified that this phenomenon is ad hoc and not sustainable. He explained the root causes for the emerging of ISIS and confirming that finding a just and comprehensive solution to Israel- Palestine conflict will contribute, substantially, to reducing the negative impact of this terrorist movement. H.E. Dr Malki, also, met with the Australian Shadow Minister, Hon Tanya Plibersek and discussed with her the significance of the recognition of the Sate of Palestine in order to save and sustain the two-state solution and reaching a comprehensive peace and security in the region. The Shadow Foreign Minister briefed the minister on the current discussion taking place within the Labor party to recognize the State of Palestine. The Minster had the opportunity to meet representatives from the Australian media outlets and talked to them about the latest on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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