Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas Abbas said Tuesday that he will submit a resolution to the UN Security Council on Thursday seeking a three-year timetable for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank.
The resolution will be handed in immediately after Abbas speaks at the UN General Assembly, he told reporters.
Abbas, who meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry later Tuesday, expressed little optimism the resolution would survive a Security Council vote. The United States will almost certainly veto such a measure, having said the only resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between the two sides.
A day earlier, Abbas said a UN rejection of the resolution would prompt him to seek membership in international institutions and agencies. Aides said that would include the International Criminal Court, opening the door to war crimes charges against Israel for its military actions in Gaza.
Also Tuesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdalla told The Associated Press after a donor meeting lead by Norway that he asked for urgent aid amounting to $3.8 billion for reconstruction of Gaza after the summer war with Israel. He said Saudi Arabia had pledged $500 million and other nations indicated they would join in.
The recent Gaza war has weakened Abbas domestically, with Hamas enjoying a surge of popularity among Palestinians for fighting Israel. He is under pressure at home to come up with a new political strategy after his repeated but failed attempts to establish a Palestinian state through US-mediated negotiations with Israel.
Abbas adviser Nabil Abu Rdeneh has said the Palestinian leader would present a new strategy in his UN speech. In recent weeks, Abbas and his aides have hinted at the content of the proposal.
Under the plan, Abbas would ask the UN Security Council to issue a binding resolution, with a specific date for ending Israel's occupation.
The US has urged Abbas not to turn to the Security Council, but has not offered an alternative, said a Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss internal deliberations with the media.
Abbas will use meetings on the sidelines of the General Assembly to gauge international support for his plan, said the official.
"This week I will propose to the United Nations a new timetable for peace talks. The key is to agree on a map to delineate the borders of each country," Abbas said.
He said he is frustrated with the Israeli government, accusing it of expanding settlements on Palestinian land rather that making peace.