Palestinians Join International Criminal Courts, Prompting Israeli Threats

State Dept 'Deeply Troubled' by Palestinian Membership

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today signed the Palestinian Authority up for membership at the International Criminal Court (ICC), in response to the failed bid for recognition as a state at the UN Security Council, which the US vetoed.

The move sets the stage for Palestinians to complain about the Israeli military’s commission of war crimes, and sparked a threat of retaliation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who insisted that ISIS carries out war crimes, and Hamas is like ISIS, and Abbas had ties with Hamas, so Abbas could face similar charges.

The US also opposed Abbas’ move, as indeed it opposes anything that might upset Israel, with the State Department saying they were “deeply troubled” by the prospect of Palestine being an ICC member.

Both the US and Israel are signatories to the ICC charter, though both have also indicated that they never intend to ratify the agreement and bring themselves into compliance.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of