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PLO to pursue diplomatic efforts following ceasefire deal

Aug. 28, 2014 10:26 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2014 11:07 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian leadership will pursue diplomatic efforts at the UN Security Council in a bid to end Israel's decades-long occupation following a ceasefire deal in Gaza, a senior Fatah official said late Wednesday.

Nabil Shaath told Ma'an that the PLO would first submit an application to the UN Security Council on Sept. 15 demanding a "timetable" for Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Arab League will meet on Sept. 5 to discuss how to support the move.

If that request is denied, the PLO will take their case to the International Criminal Court to hold senior Israeli officials such as Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon accountable for Israel's devastating assault on Gaza, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians.

"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.

A permanent unity government, with Hamas as a full partner, will then be formed in order to facilitate the reconstruction of the war-torn Gaza Strip, Shaath added.

Palestinian and Israeli delegations will meet at a later date in Cairo to agree on the procedures for operating Gaza's crossings.

Shaath said that Israel accepted the ceasefire deal without the demilitarization of Hamas following pressure from the United States.

Israel fears losing its allies given the ongoing unrest in the region, he added.

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.
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