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On 3 April, the international criminal court (ICC) finally decided that it could not decide whether Palestine could become a member nation of the court. The Palestinian Authority had filed a request three years earlier, in the aftermath of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in Operation Cast Lead.

The ICC ruled it had no authority to decide the question of statehood, which was a matter for the UN general assembly.

So far the only UN body that has accepted Palestine as a member is UNESCO. However, on 22 March, the UN human rights council voted by 36 to 1 (the US) to launch an enquiry into Israel’s plans for constructing fresh housing for Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.  

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