PLO to seek timetable for Israeli withdrawal at UN Security Council

Palestinians threaten to bring Israel before International Criminal Court

A Palestinian boy runs down a street in the Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood of Gaza city yesterday. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

A Palestinian boy runs down a street in the Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood of Gaza city yesterday. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 01:00

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has said it would apply to the UN Security Council on September 15th to set a “timetable” for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

If the request is rejected, senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath said the Palestinians will bring the Israeli leadership before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the killing of 2,140 Palestinians during the Gaza war.

Meeting

The Arab League is due to meet next week to discuss support for the plan which has already received the backing of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“Taking the case to the ICC is conditional upon the security council response to our request,” said Dr Shaath, adding that President Mahmoud Abbas had promised a “diplomatic surprise” last week. Analysts see the surprise as a means to rebuild Mr Abbas’s flagging credibility and ensure a role for Fatah in Gaza.

A unity government will be formed by Fatah and Hamas to replace the current consensus cabinet of technocrats established in June, Dr Shaath said.

The unity cabinet would govern both the West Bank and Gaza and supervise the reconstruction of Gaza.

PLO official Wasel Abu Yousef confirmed the move but said that the application is likely to be dismissed by the US. “If the US uses its veto, then we still have the ICC card.”

Separately, the Jordanian daily al-Ghad reported that Mr Abbas and Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahyu met secretly in Amman shortly before the ceasefire ended the Gaza war. This report has not been confirmed.