The Palestinian authorities have released the complete list of treaties that they intend to join. According to the statement, President Abbas “signed letters of accession” which have now been “handed over to the relevant parties.” The list includes the following law of war treaties:
The Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the First Additional Protocol;
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict; and
The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land
How does this diplomatic move compare to the prior attempt of the PLO to join the Geneva Conventions? What could Abbas hope to achieve? What does international law and past practice say about the ability of the Palestinians — now with Non-Member Observer State status in the UN — to become a state party to the law of war conventions?
If those questions interest you, stay tuned for a post later today from Just Security’s Fionnuala Ní Aoláin with her take on the answers.