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Withholding Hope: Comparative Perspectives of the International Criminal Court’s Palestinian Investigation Open Access Deposited

Entering its 20th year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) continues to face a crisis of legitimacy. One of the ICC's main controversies is its history of prosecuting defendants from countries primarily in the Global South, raising concerns that the ICC may not adequately bring to justice all perpetrators of mass atrocities and war crimes. The opening of an ICC investigation into Israel and Palestine raises new questions about how the ICC is situated to help achieve peace in the Global South during an ongoing armed conflict, nonetheless. Given critiques of the ICC's alleged bias in the Global South, this study aims to understand whether the ICC is truly representative of its victims' interests. To this end, it investigated the Palestinian and international communities' responses to the ICC Prosecutor's opening of an investigation in Israel and Palestine, drawing from a social media analysis of three prominent organizations in each group. Although both groups welcomed the move by the ICC prosecutor, Palestinians, still tainted by the ongoing armed conflict and previous instances of justice stalled or withheld, are not as optimistic about the ICC investigation as the international community is. This study offers a first look at the Israel/Palestine conflict in understanding how perspectives of justice can differ between the international community and the local victims.

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