Following a stinging defeat at the UN Security Council, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed appeals to join 20 international treaties, including the Rome Statute, the first step in joining the International Criminal Court (ICC).
During a live, televised meeting with Palestinian leadership officials in Ramallah on Wednesday, Abbas signed the requests, saying: “They attack us and our land every day, to whom are we to complain? The Security Council let us down – where are we to go?”
The Rome Statute of the ICC is part of a non-binding international treaty that forms the jurisdiction, function and structure of the court at The Hague. Currently, the treaty has 139 signatories, with 122 of those classified as States Parties.
Before signing the documents, Abbas added that “we’ll complain” to international institutions about what he believes is unfavorable treatment of the Palestinians.
“We appreciate the fact two of the votes are of European countries – France and Luxemburg voted in favor. We thank them for their position. I hope in the future the US won’t oppose and veto if we can get a majority at the Security Council next time because these proposals only aid to achieve peace in the Middle East.”
Israeli Prime Minister expressed that he wasn’t worried about the Palestinians latest move. “The one who needs to fear the International Criminal Court at The Hague is the Palestinian Authority, who is sitting in a unity government with Hamas – a declared terrorism organization that like Daesh (ISIS) commits war crimes,” he stated.
“We’ll take reactive moves and protect the soldiers of the IDF – the most moral army in the world,” he threatened. “We will thwart this additional attempt to force diktats on us as we thwarted the Palestinian resolution at the UN General assembly.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that “Abbas can sign any treaty he wants. The only one committing war crimes in the conflict are the Palestinians who are responsible for murderous terrorism against babies, children, women and men, indiscriminately for the past century.”
“This even a deaf, blind and mute judge knows. So Abbas can’t threaten us – the country with the most moral army in the world,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
The US voiced its objection to the ICC move, saying that the Palestinian’s actions “undermine and create doubts about their commitment to a negotiated peace.”
“We strongly oppose Palestinian action at the ICC,” the State Department said in a statement. “It would be counter-productive and would do nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state.”
The Palestinians hope that membership to the ICC will pave the way to prosecute Israel for war crimes.