Daily Israel Report

U.S. Opposes Abbas's 'Withdrawal Deadline' Plan

State Department says Abbas's plan to go to international organizations will "badly damage the atmosphere".
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/26/2014, 5:12 AM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

The United States said on Monday it was against Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to go the United Nations and ask it to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria.

“We support President Abbas’s objective to achieve a two-state solution, but we believe that if the Palestinians resort to the ICC, it will badly damage the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“And so our focus remains on achieving a sustainable ceasefire, not by resorting to unilateral actions in international fora. And that’s why we remain focused on the efforts the Egyptians are leading and also working with our counterparts in the UN,” she told reporters in a briefing.

Abbas’s aides said on Sunday 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.

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.