Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has a few ideas on how to move his cause forward in the anticipated wake of Operation Protective Edge.
On Sunday Abbas announced on Egyptian television that he was set to unveil an unconventional solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and hours later PA officials revealed, on condition of anonymity, that it included unilateral steps in the UN.
According to the unnamed officials, Abbas will approach the UN Security Council and ask for a deadline for Israeli withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders. Should that fail – which is likely, given the US ability to veto motions in the Security Council – Abbas has also indicated he could turn to the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes.
One PA official even told Jerusalem Post correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh that Abbas would dissolve the PA entirely should his Security Council bid fail.
The official described it as a “day after” plan, which would be implemented on the heels of a ceasefire agreement to end the current Gaza operation.
All Abbas himself would say was “I won’t declare war on Israel,” insisting his was a “political and diplomatic solution.” He said he would bring his plan to the PA leadership in the coming days, and to US Secretary of State John Kerry during his upcoming visit to the region.
Without revealing any details, Abbas admitted the US would not approve of his proposal, but that it enjoyed strong support across the Arab world. Sources close to the PA president said the proposal also involved diminishing the role of the US in the peace process and internationalizing the conflict to bring in other players such as Russia and the European Union.
Prior to his visit to Egypt, Abbas met with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in Doha, Qatar Friday. There, too, the media spoke of asking the UN for a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
Israel, while open to negotiations regarding land, has always maintained it would not withdraw from all territories captured in 1967, as it has a right to defensible borders. Netanyahu has also promised not to divide the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, nor evacuate some 350,000 residents who have settled in that area.
The US and other Western powers espouse the belief that only a negotiated settlement, and not coercive unilateral measures, will bring about a lasting solution to the conflict.