Stung by a resounding defeat in the UN Security Council, the Palestinians announced today that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel. The move by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas set the stage for a diplomatic showdown with the United States and was likely to draw an angry response from Israel. Abbas had threatened to join the international court if yesterday's Security Council resolution failed: The Palestinians had asked the council to set a three-year deadline for Israel to withdraw from all occupied lands claimed by the Palestinians.
"We want to complain," said Abbas. "There's aggression against us, against our land. The Security Council disappointed us." After two decades of failed, on-again, off-again peace talks, the Palestinians have grown disillusioned and have decided to seek international recognition of their independence. While the campaign does not change the situation on the ground, the Palestinians believe strong international support will put pressure on Israel to allow the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem.