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Palestinians Seek To Join International Criminal Court

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signed 20 international agreements, including one to join the International Criminal Court, a step that is likely to draw sharp response from Israel and the U.S.

The move comes a day after the U.N. Security Council rejected a Palestinian draft resolution that called for, among other things, an end to the Israeli occupation by 2017.

‘We are being attacked every day, who will we complain to now that the UNSC has failed us?” Abbas said at an emergency meeting today with Palestinian officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He added that the rejection of the resolution “will not stop us from prosecuting” Israel.

The comments in Arabic were translated by the official Palestine New Agency, or Wafa.

Membership in the ICC could allow the Palestinians a means to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

The U.S. State Department criticized the Palestinian move, calling it “counterproductive.”

In Israel, the Haaretz newspaper reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss his country’s response. Separately, Netanyahu said it’s Palestinians who should fear the ICC because Abbas is in a national unity government with Hamas “a declared terrorist organization who like ISIS commits war crimes.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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