UNITED NATIONS — The Palestinians took the last formal step Friday to join the International Criminal Court, seeking to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel related to the recent war in Gaza and to Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories.
The high-stakes move has drawn threats of retaliation from Israel and is vehemently opposed by the United States as an obstacle to reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
After submitting the documents to join the ICC, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said the Palestinians are seeking to raise alleged crimes previously committed by Israel, including those that occurred during last summer’s war in Gaza.
He said the Palestinians will also be seeking justice for Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, which he said constitute ‘‘a war crime’’ under the Rome statute that established the court.
The Palestinians moved quickly to join the court after suffering a defeat in the UN Security Council on Tuesday. The council rejected a resolution that would have set a three-year deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state on lands occupied by Israel.