Abbas to seek UN deadline for Israeli West Bank withdrawal

Unnamed Palestinian officials say that if the international community refuses, PA will bring Israel to ICC

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Palestinian officials said Sunday Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the UN Security Council to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw from lands captured during the 1967 Six Day War.

The areas will then make way for a Palestinian state, they said.

If the council does not approve a resolution, the officials warned the Palestinians will then pursue war crimes charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court.

The officials said Abbas’s appeal is part of a “day after” plan following the end of the current war in the Gaza Strip.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been officially unveiled.

The statement came hours after the PA president told Egyptian television he is set to unveil an unconventional solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will likely be met with US criticism.

“I won’t declare war on Israel,” he said with a smile, adding that the plan was for a “political and diplomatic solution.”

Asked whether the Americans would like the mysterious idea, he said no, laughing.

However, Abbas maintained, his plan, which he described as a “diplomatic surprise” does enjoy broad Arab support and would be presented to the PA leadership in the coming days.

Palestinian sources close to Abbas told Haaretz that the plan would involve handing over responsibility for a resolution to the conflict to international forces.

On Friday, Qatari media said Abbas and Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal, who held talks in Doha at the end of last week, had urged the United Nations to draw up a “timetable” for the end of the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.”

It was not clear whether that was the “surprise” initiative to which Abbas was referring Sunday.

The PA has spent recent weeks trying to help mediate an end to the Israel-Hamas conflict, and has publicly criticized Hamas for rejecting Egyptian calls for an immediate ceasefire. He also reportedly slammed Mashaal during their talks for plotting against the PA. Last week, the Shin Bet said it had foiled a major Hamas plot to carry out attacks on Israeli and PA targets, foster a third intifada and topple Abbas.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed