Jordanian report: Netanyahu met Abbas before Gaza ceasefire
Report says Netanyahu, Abbas meet on Gaza ceasefire; PLO official Shaat says Palestinians to petition UN to set 'timeline for end of occupation'; Cabinet to meet late Thursday.

Prime Minister Netanyahu met in secret with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan before the Gaza ceasefire was announced Tuesday, a Jordanian paper reported Thursday.



According to Al Ghad, the two met in Amman, the Jordanian capital, at the invitation of the kingdom. No further details were given and no Israeli official would confirm the report.


Israel's Cabinet was set to convene Thursday evening at 8 pm amid growing criticism from within the coalition at the Gaza ceasefire, which was passed without a Cabinet vote and has inspired harsh remarks from senior ministers, who said Israel capitulated to Hamas' demands.


Meanwhile, Palestinian leadership will pursue diplomatic efforts at the UN Security Council to end what it describes as "Israel's decades-long occupation," Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported Thursday, citing Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah official.


The diplomatic bid followed the open-ended ceasefire deal reached Tuesday ending 50 days of bloody conflict between Israel and Palestinian terror factions in Gaza.


Shaath told Ma'an that the Palestinian Authority would initially petition the UN Security Council on September 15th to demand a "timetable" for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank. According to the report, the Arab League will meet before hand and work to back the move.


According to Shaat, if that UN request is denied, for example by the US who has veto power in the Council, then the PLO will take the Palestinian case to the International Criminal Court, where it will attempt to try top officials like Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon for alleged war crimes in Gaza.


"Taking the case to the ICC is conditional upon the Security Council response to our request," Shaath said, adding that the issue is being discussed within Palestinian political circles.


The last round of US-brokered peace talks were held under a similar threat by Palestinians. Israel for its part agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians on the condition they halt all legal procedures against Israel and Israeli officials.


Shaath also said that a permanent unity government, with Hamas as a full partner, will replace the current Hamas backed technocratic unity government, in order to facilitate the reconstruction of the war-torn Gaza Strip, Shaath told Ma'an.


Shaath praised the ceasefire deal as a loss for Israel, said that Israel accepted the truce deal that does not include the demilitarization of Hamas, a central Israeli demand, following pressure from the United States. According to him and the report, Israel fears losing its allies in US given the ongoing unrest in the region.


The long-term ceasefire which came into effect on Tuesday also includes the opening of crossings for goods and aid under heavy Israeli supervision, which Palestinian negotiators say will signal the end of Israel's crippling eight-year long blockade of the Strip, long a key Palestinian condition, Ma'an report.


First published: 28.08.14, 11:32
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