Riyad Mansour Palestine ICC UN
Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour reads a statement during a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York in July 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to investigate possible crimes after Palestine officially joins on Wednesday 1 April, regardless of pressure from Israel or any other government.

Becoming a signatory of the Rome Statute means that both Palestinians and Israelis can be investigated and prosecuted for a range of crimes that cannot be ruled upon by national courts.

The ICC will assess whether it should investigate Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, which Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, said can constitute "a war crime" under the Rome statute, as well as Israel's military bombardment of the Gaza Strip last summer.

Palestine applied to join the ICC in January 2015 in what it described as the end to "Israel's impunity". Its accession still needs to go through as planned on 1 April.

Frozen Palestinian tax revenue

In response to the announcement, Israel stopped the monthly transfer of $130m (£87.9m, €120.5) in Palestinian tax revenue and customs duties, which it has control over on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

The three-month suspension of revenue means that more than $500m has been withheld, leaving the West Bank's economy severely weakened.

Following the move, the Palestinian Authority, which administers the West Bank, decided to cut most of its employees' salaries by 40% and resort to an emergency budget.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on 27 March, however, that it would transfer the funds to the Palestinian Authority, for humanitarian reasons and in line with "Israel's interests".

Filing claims against Israel

At the Palestinian request, the ICC prosecutor has opened a preliminary examination on alleged Israeli war crimes during Operation Protective Edge over the summer.

But local media have suggested that the release of funds is conditional on the Palestinians agreeing not to file further claims against Israel at the ICC.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Palestinian Authority is not expected at this time to take legal steps in the ICC regarding the Gaza operation.

However, the ICC has the final say in investigating cases – not officials from Palestine or any other government.