Saeb Erekat, Mahmoud Abbas sign int'l conventions (file)
Saeb Erekat, Mahmoud Abbas sign int'l conventions (file)Issam Rimawi/Flash 90

Ahmed Bahar, acting speaker of the Palestinian parliament, on Thursday poured cold water on Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s application to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and several other international conventions and treaties.

In a statement, Bahar said that Abbas bears responsibility for the applications which, he claimed, do not serve the interests of the “Palestinian people.”

Bahar stressed that any signing of a treaty or an international agreement requires national responsibility and the entire Palestinian parliament must approve it.

Thursday’s statement stands in sharp contrast to Hamas’s statement from Wednesday, in which it praised Abbas's move as a "step in the right direction."

"This step needs to be part of a general policy and a joint national program," Hamas said in a statement.

Hamas's previous embrace of the ICC bid oddly contrasts with its utter rejection of the PA's UN draft resolution to boot Israel out of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which it said in multiple statements did not 'represent the Palestinian people. 

Hamas's spokesman said last week the resolution "doesn't represent [the] consensus of the Palestinian people," and Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar added that the draft resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood was "disastrous," and that it has "no future in the land of Palestine." 

The last elections for the PA parliament were held in 2006, and Hamas won an overwhelming majority. The group later staged a bloody military coup in Gaza in the summer of 2007, creating a rift between Abbas’s Fatah movement in Ramallah and the Hamas-led government in Gaza.

The sides formed a unity government last year but the government has been unable to function and there have been signs that it is crumbling.

The most recent reconciliation attempt has been rocked by tensions, most notably Hamas's attempt to stage a violent coup in Judea and Samaria against the Palestinian Authority.