Palestinian membership gives the court’s prosecutors the right to examine war crimes committed by any party on its territory after April 1, a development contested by Israel, which is not an ICC member and has no plans not cooperate.
“I don’t understand the opposition unless (Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin) Netanyahu fears the court and what it might do,” Maliki said.
“If he believes his army is the most moral army in the world … then he should not fear our accession to the court.”
The court is already examining possible crimes committed during last year’s conflict in Gaza, and Maliki said he was confident that it would lead to a case, also conceding that it was “probable” Palestinians would also be charged.
It is ultimately up to the prosecutors whether they charge suspects, but a member state can request them to do so, a move against Israel the Palestinians will be reluctant to make.
At a closed ceremony on Wednesday, ICC vice-president Kuniko Ozaki stressed that court membership is not one-sided.
“Palestine acquires all the rights as well as responsibilities that come with being a State Party to the Statute.