The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague announced on Tuesday that the “State of Palestine” has joined it, becoming its 118th member state.
It is unclear how significant an achievement joining the PCA is, with the Palestinians likely to brandish it as supporting their joining the International Criminal Court and Israel likely to underplay it. The PCA is much less prominent than the ICC.
At press time, the Palestinian Authority had not responded to inquiries and the Foreign Ministry said, “This is a legal body which is not among the more important ones. What a waste that the Palestinians continue to invest efforts to be accepted into these kinds of bodies instead of returning to the negotiating table.”
Israel opposes any recognition of “Palestine” as a state outside of bilateral negotiations.
The ICC Prosecution in January 2015 accepted “Palestine” as a state for purposes of opening an examination of war crimes allegations relating to 2014’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and of the settlements enterprise. Israel has been trying to convince the ICC Prosecution to back away from this position.