ICC's general prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo (Reuters) Reuters

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected a Palestinian plea to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel from 2002 because Palestine has not been recognised as a state by the UN.

"In order to proceed we need the General Assembly of the UN accepting Palestine as an observer state. As soon as this is done we can proceed," general prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told Al Arabiya.

"There is a problem because in order to proceed I need Palestine recognised as a state because I am not the prosecutor of the world, I am the prosecutor of the countries who accept my jurisdiction.

"I need a country accepting me and then I investigate the crimes," the prosecutor said.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which is not party to the ICC, submitted a declaration to the court under an article that allows non-party states to accept the court's jurisdiction.

The UN Commissioner for Human Rights sent a document to the ICC in January 2010 stating: "Palestinian statehood is irrelevant to this analysis."

Criminal jurisdiction within Palestine "rests with the PNA which can therefore transfer such jurisdiction to the ICC," he said.

Other argued that the PNA does not possess full criminal jurisdiction within the Palestinian territories.