Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Reuters

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is eligible to join up to 550 international treaties and conventions, including the International Criminal Court, its ambassador to the UN said Wednesday, according to the Ma’an news agency.

The comments by Ibrahim Khraishi came hours after the UN received the PA’s requests to join several international conventions and treaties, as signed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a day earlier.

Khraishi told Ma'an that the 15 applications submitted on Wednesday would take three to four months for approval.

“These conventions don't have U.S. funding like other organizations such as the World Health Organization which receives $720 million annually, So, its members will not be financially blackmailed,” Khraishi said.

He added that the United States did not make any negative statements on the applications so far. Khraishi highlighted that he would meet the American ambassador in Switzerland on Thursday to discuss the issue.

The White House said Wednesday it was disappointed by "unhelpful" actions by both Israel and the PA.

White House deputy spokesman Josh Earnest expressed disappointment at "unhelpful, unilateral actions both parties have taken in recent days," possibly also referring to Israel's decision to reissue tenders for just over 700 housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

A building freeze in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem was not among the preconditions to talks, but both the PA and the U.S. administration have nevertheless criticized Israeli building plans in the past. 

The unilateral move by the PA effectively torpedoes the peace talks, which were set to continue until April 29, and which have been stalling of late amid Abbas's consistent refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

The PA has blamed Israel for the talks failing, citing its refusal to release the fourth batch of terrorists it agreed to release as a “gesture” to Abbas.

Tourism Minster Uzi Landau on Wednesday warned of punitive action if the PLO pursued efforts to join UN agencies and threatened that Israel could annex territory in Judea and Samaria in response.

Israel could also hurt the PA economically by acting "to block financial aid to them," Landau added.