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Abbas Proposes 3-year Timeline for Israel to Withdraw from West Bank

President-Mahmoud-Abbas_smallestBCN editor’s note: please contact the author for reprint permission.

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas will present a framework for renewed peace talks with Israel to be presented to the Arab League for approval next week (Sunday). His proposal is that of a maximum time period of nine months of negotiations that will lead to a three-year timeframe for Israel to withdrawal from the West Bank.

According to Mahmoud al-Habash, former PA minister of religious affairs, Abbas is seeking “Arab support so that in the future he can submit it for acceptance by the international community.”

He stated on the talks that during the proposed maximum designated nine-month period of talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, the first three months would be designated to negotiations of borders. After borders are decided, talks on Jerusalem, settlements, security, refugees and water will be addressed, al-Habash stating, “The initial stage of the talks will be regarding the drawing of borders. During this time, settlement construction will cease and the fourth round of prisoner releases, to which Israel obligated itself in March of this year, will go forward.”

Al-Habash stated that the overall “goal of the Palestinians is to begin discussions that will eventually lead to the end of the occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

Abbas has reportedly demanded all settlement construction to freeze during negotiations.

This comes after Israel’s announcement on Sunday that 1,000 acres of land in the Wadi Fukin Valley would become land of the State of Israel, the IDF announcing that, “4,000 dunams at (the settlement of) Gvaot is declared as state land.” The area is located close to the spot in which Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel were abducted and murdered.

Abbas has threatened to take Israel to the International Criminal Court if his proposal is rejected or the withdrawal within the timeframe or negotiations fails.

In the event that this would occur, Abbas would then attempt to seek a resolution from the UN Security Council that recognizes the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borderlines. In the event the United States would veto the resolution, Palestinian efforts for statehood would focus on the General Assembly and seeking recognition and admission to international bodies and organizations under the Geneva Conventions on grounds that the Palestinian “nation” is occupied by Israel.

Last week, Nabil Sha’ath, chief PLO negotiator, stated that a case to be brought against Israel to the ICC on war crimes “is conditional upon the Security Council response to our request.” He additionally announced that the PLO would submit its application demanding for a timetable for Israel’s withdraw from the West Bank to the UN Security Council September 15th.

Photo credit: BillyClub (Creative Commons)

AmirTsarfatiAmir Tsarfati, a Jewish Christian, is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.

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