Palestinians Threaten to Turn to ICC if Date Not Set for Return to 1967 Lines

Report: Netanyahu and Abbas held secret talks before Gaza truce signed; no official Palestinian, Israeli or Jordanian source confirms that meeting in Amman actually took place.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Credit: AP

The Palestinians plan to turn to the United Nations Security Council on September 15 to demand a deadline be set for Israel's withdrawal to 1967 borders, senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an on Thursday.

If the Security Council rejects the initiative, Shaath said, the Palestinians would open their case against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

This is part of the "diplomatic surprise" Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas promised last week, Shaath said.

The Arab League will meet in Cairo September 7-9 to discuss providing Abbas with an Arab umbrella of support. Abbas is already backed in principle by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Meanwhile, the Jordanian newspaper Alghrad reported on Thursday that Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting in Amman days before the cease-fire was signed ending the war in Gaza.

No details were given about the meeting, and no official from Jordan, Israel or the Palestinian Authority would confirm that it in fact happened.

Netanyahu told a press conference on Wednesday night that Israel had secured a "great military and political" achievement in the Gaza war and that Hamas had been dealt a "heavy blow."

Responding to a journalist's question, the prime minister said: "We would be happy to see Abu-Mazen's [Abbas'] forces enter the Gaza Strip." The Palestinian president, he said "has to decide which side he is on. We hope he will continue to support a peace deal with Israel."

Last week, prior to the truce, Netanyahu told a press conference that dramatic changes in the region promise a "new political horizon," even as Hamas and Israel continued to exchange fire after the collapse of the previous round of truce talks.

"I hope Abbas will have a significant part in the new diplomatic horizon. I expect to start talks with a Palestinian government which can abandon the path of terror," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu will convene the political-security cabinet on Thursday evening at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv to discuss the cease-fire, which has held now for two days.

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