PA President and Fateh member Mahmoud Abbas, Wednesday, signed a formal request for Palestine to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), following a failed UN resolution for ending the Israeli occupation.Tuesday’s vote at the United Nations Security Council came after a three-month Palestinian campaign to win support for the resolution.
The resolution, if passed, would have set a 12-month deadline for Israel to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians and called for a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Palestinian territories by the end of 2017.
Jailed Fateh leader Marwan Barghouhti criticized the text of the resolution before its submission, urging Palestinian leadership to reword the proposal.
The Israeli state hailed the rejection as a victory, saying that it dealt a blow to Palestinian efforts to diplomatically ’embarrass and isolate’ Israel.
China, France, and Russia voted in favor, while the United States and Australia voted against.
Abstentions included Britain, Rwanda, Nigeria, Lithuania and South Korea.
The ICC can prosecute individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, AFP further notes, and Palestinian plans to become a party to the court have been fervently opposed by both Israel and the United States.
Palestinian leadership hopes that ICC membership will pave the way for war crimes prosecutions against Israeli officials for their actions in the occupied territories.
Israel, however, asserts that ‘Palestinian crimes’ would be exposed to the judgement of the Hague-based court, should the bid succeed.
Islamic-based political party Hamas signed a proposal for Palestinian membership at the ICC, this past August, and is holding Abbas accountable for promises to cut PA security cooperation.
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