Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed onto the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday, signalling a move to seek a legal remedy in place of peace talks with Israel, which have repeatedly broken down.
“We’ve tried every possibility to reach a solution with the Israelis and we’ve spent 20 years of negotiations that didn’t end their occupation over us. So now we have taken a peaceful, legal option to internationalize this conflict,” senior Palestinian official Mohammed Shtayyeh told Reuters.
The move gives the ICC jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian lands, which could lead to war crimes cases being brought against Israel.
“Such a provocative decision only furthers the divide between Palestinians and Israelis, and will carry unfortunate consequences,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement Thursday. “Canada has expressed these concerns directly to the Palestinian Authority for nearly four years now.”