Abbas requested Palestinian accession to a total of 22 international organisations, including the ICC.The Palestinian leadership hopes to take Israel to court and put its leaders on trial for war crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories it has occupied since 1967.

The step, the Israeli government argues, could just as easily lead to prosecuting Palestinians before the Hague-based court.

The UN Security Council rejected a resolution demanding an end to Israel's occupation of all Palestinian territory and withdrawal to pre-1967 borders by 2017.The proposal, which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had outlined to the UN General Assembly in September, fell one vote short of the nine required for approval, making the US's' threat to use its veto power redundant.

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