Bethlehem: The Palestinian leadership has been under threats and pressure since its recent bid to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday.
"After the failure in the UN council, we decided to complain our tragedy to the biggest court in the world, while we received pressures and threats which are still going on," Xinhua reported citing Abbas as saying.
"But we say, we are sticking to our lands", he added.
The remarks were made as Abbas dined with the leaders, fathers and priests of the Palestinian Orthodox Christians in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, who were celebrating Christmas according to their calendar.
Two weeks ago, Jordan, in coordination with the Palestinians, submitted a draft resolution, backed by the Arab League, which called for an end to the Israeli occupation by 2017.
The resolution called for one-year direct peace talks with Israel to agree on ending the military occupation and establishing a Palestinian state in the lands Israel occupied in 1967 with east Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas noted that the Palestinians went to the UN council "because we felt despaired of all the efforts which were exerted to reach a solution. So we applied to the international community but not to violence or murder."
"Violence is not our policy," Abbas said, adding that we apply to the world and its political and diplomatic institutions to gain our rights and gain self-determination for our people who live under occupation for six decades.