"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seeking to incite a confrontation with Israel no matter what," the Foreign Ministry said Friday, following the Palestinian leader's announcement that Ramallah will actively try to isolate Israel in the international arena.
On Thursday, the Palestinian Authority, bolstered by its new UN status, said that should the Right, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, win the coming elections – which is a near-certain possibility – it will actively try to destabilize both the Israeli government and Jerusalem's standing worldwide.
- Palestinians aim to isolate Israel globally
- Israel steps up controversial building plans
US: Israel's settlement plans provocative
The Palestinians said that they would exacerbate the steps taken against Israel, including staging mass demonstrations in the West Bank, encouraging the international community to impose sanctions, and ending the security cooperation that has helped preserve quiet in recent years.
Ramallah has yet to seek membership with The Hague, but Jerusalem is gearing for the possibility that the Palestinians will pursue International Criminal Court (ICC) action against Israeli officials.
"The 'new rules' the Palestinians are talking about are no different than the old rules that have always resulted in conflict, hatred, violence and their defeat," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor said.
Delusional? Abbas (Arcvhies: AFP)
"The Palestinians' tragedy is that instead of dedicating efforts to building themselves, they are focusing on trying to harm Israel. Instead of building their future they are immersed in attempts to ruin ours.
"This strategy has led to nothing but failure after failure for them. They continue digging in their heels out of some delusional, suicidal power drunkenness," he said.
Nevertheless, Jerusalem is following the PA's steps carefully. Sources in the Foreign Ministry said that the Palestinians are systematically filing complaints with international bodies against Israel over settlement construction – more so since the government announced new building plans for the contested E1 area.
According to the Foreign Ministry, since the PA gained nonmember status at the UN, the complaints have taken on a new tone – one that includes international law citations and criteria – in preparation of possible ICC action.
Jerusalem sources believe that the Palestinians are likely to file ICC charges against Israel, based on The Hague's ruling that displacing population off occupied territory is a war crime.
Prior to the UN General Assembly's vote on the Palestinian status bid, Abbas said that should it be granted, the Palestinian Authority would not pursue ICC action against Israel.
Itamar Eichner is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent
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