Palestinians Join Permanent Court of Arbitration

YERUSHALAYIM -
Seat of the PCA: The Peace Palace ("Vredespaleis"), The Hague. (International Court of Justice)
Seat of the PCA: The Peace Palace (“Vredespaleis”), The Hague. (International Court of Justice)

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague has formally accepted the Palestinians as a member state, a development criticized by Israel as a waste of effort.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry downplayed its significance, saying that “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.”

The Palestinian Authority has not yet made any statement on the PCA accession.

The PCA should not be confused with the International Criminal Court (ICC), a more important body which accepted the Palestinians last year as a state on a limited basis, for the purposes of opening an examination of the 2014 Gaza war crimes allegations and of the Israeli presence in Yehuda and Shomron.

The PCA stated that after a March 14 meeting, that “Palestine” became a member by a vote of 54 in favor and 25 abstentions.

In explaining the decision, the PCA said that the Palestinians were admitted to the body essentially as a consequence of belonging to related international conventions.