Jan 5, 2015

Video: Mahmoud Abbas Takes Risk with International Criminal Court Move

For someone nearing 80, President Mahmoud Abbas still knows how to shake things up. But his decision last week to join the International Criminal Court is a high-risk move that may set back the ultimate goal: an independent Palestinian state.

Frustrated by the lack of progress in negotiations with Israel—the last, fruitless talks broke down in April—and the failure of his New Year's Eve statehood bid at the United Nations, Abbas followed through on a long-promised threat to join the ICC, filing the relevant documents on Jan. 2. But the biggest immediate hurdle for Abbas is getting the ICC, set up in The Hague 12 years ago, to take on any case it brings. Joining the court is one thing, but convincing the chief prosecutor that you have a winnable set of evidence is another.