Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas finally signed the Rome Statute on December 31st following the failed attempt to pass a resolution in the United Nations Security Council setting a deadline for a peace agreement and the end of the Israeli occupation of the territory occupied in 1967. On the same day, Abbas' Fatah party began its celebrations marking the 50th year since its founding.
Fatah staged a military parade through the streets of Ramallah on December 31st – the day before the official anniversary of the movement. Fatah was founded on January 1st 1964.
Fatah's parade in Ramallah included different branches of the PA's security services and Fatah's youth brigades also participated. The march made its way towards 'al-Muqata' (the Presidential compound) where Fatah leaders including Abbas made speeches before lighting a commemorative torch.
The Rome Statute that Abbas signed on Wednesday was submitted the following day to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in a push to join the International Criminal Court. Being a member of the ICC would open the door to potential war crimes claims being lodged against Israel.
Images by MEMO photographer Rich Wiles.