U.S. says it is deeply troubled by Palestinian move

WASHINGTON – The United States said on Wednesday the move by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sign on to 20 international agreements, including the International Criminal Court, was of deep concern and unhelpful to peace efforts in the region.

“It is an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long hoped to see for their people,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement. “Actions like this are not the answer.”

 The Palestinian move paves the way for the International Criminal Court to take jurisdiction over crimes committed in Palestinian lands and investigate the conduct of Israeli and Palestinian leaders over more than a decade of bloody conflict.