Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signs international agreements in the West Bank city of Ramallah, in this December 31, 2014 handout picture. (REUTERS/Osama Falah/Palestinian President Office)
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The Palestinians were facing a fresh diplomatic battle Thursday after taking steps to join the International Criminal Court in a move which was strongly condemned by both Washington and Israel.The dramatic move to join the Hague-based court, which could pave the way for the Palestinians to sue Israeli officials for war crimes, came less than 24 hours after the U.N. Security Council rejected a resolution seeking to set a deadline for ending the occupation. The Palestinians hope that joining the court will pave the way for them to seek justice against Israel for its actions in the occupied territories.To become a party to the court, the Palestinians must sign then ratify the treaty.It was also a diplomatic blow for the Palestinians, who had counted on the symbolic victory of nine votes, even though the resolution would in all likelihood have been blocked by a U.S. veto.
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