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Baird concerned over Palestinian Authority's 'dangerous' actions

 QMI Agency

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. (Dani-Elle Dube/QMI Agency)

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. (Dani-Elle Dube/QMI Agency)

The Canadian government expressed its concern Thursday over the Palestinian Authority's "dangerous" actions this week.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed onto the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday, signalling a move to seek a legal remedy in place of peace talks with Israel, which have repeatedly broken down.

"We've tried every possibility to reach a solution with the Israelis and we've spent 20 years of negotiations that didn't end their occupation over us. So now we have taken a peaceful, legal option to internationalize this conflict," senior Palestinian official Mohammed Shtayyeh told Reuters.

The move gives the ICC jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian lands, which could lead to war crimes cases being brought against Israel.

"Such a provocative decision only furthers the divide between Palestinians and Israelis, and will carry unfortunate consequences," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement Thursday. "Canada has expressed these concerns directly to the Palestinian Authority for nearly four years now."

Abbas signed onto the ICC a day after a resolution calling for an end to Israeli occupation by 2017 failed to win sufficient support at the United Nations Security Council.

Baird called on Abbas to return to abandon the legal route and "recommit to a negotiated solution."

"We believe this is the only way to bring about a just and lasting peace," Baird said. "Israelis and Palestinians deserve nothing less."

--with files from Reuters

 


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