Daily Israel Report

Abbas to Present 'Deadline' for Israel to 'End Occupation'

PA head plans to ask the UN to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 borders.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/25/2014, 4:16 AM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is continuing his quest to unilaterally achieve a Palestinian state.

Aides to Abbas on Sunday told The Associated Press (AP) that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw back to the pre-1967 borders and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

Abbas is expected to unveil his proposal as part of a "day after" plan following the current war in Gaza, likely at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

With no end in sight to the fighting, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian Arab public he is working to end the fighting and lead them to independence, according to AP.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He told the news agency the Palestinian Arabs want a "fixed date" for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

"It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution," he was quoted by AP as having said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately.

"Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever," he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, to “call for an end to Israel's occupation” of lands captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

In 2012, the PA unilaterally turned to the United Nations and received recognition as a non-member observer state by the General Assembly.

Since then, the PA has threatened several times that if peace talks fail, it would turn to international institutions and seek to sue Israel in the International Criminal Court.

In April, the PA requested to join 15 international agencies in breach of the conditions of the peace talks that were going on with Israel at that time.

In response, Israel cancelled the fourth terrorist release "gesture" and subsequently pulled out of the talks altogether, after the PA signed a unity pact with Hamas.