Hamas rocket from Gaza hits city of Ashkelon during Operation Protective Edge. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90) (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

Fire from Gaza on Israel will be renewed if the ceasefire talks fail, a Palestinian Authority official warns, while PA head Abbas threatens Israel on the diplomatic front.

The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is at risk of failing and the fire on Israeli civilians may be renewed from Gaza if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not address the ceasefire negotiations in a more serious fashion, a Palestinian Authority official was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

The official, Qais Abd al-Karim, one of the Palestinian negotiators who represents Hamas as well, was responding to a Channel 10 report on Monday according to which Netanyahu had given his top aides the impression that he had no intention of resuming the indirect ceasefire negotiations in Cairo. According to the report, Netanyahu stated that there were no preparations being made for the talks.

Hamas has made several demands as a prerequisite for a long-term ceasefire, including the building of a seaport and airport in the Gaza Strip. However, the meeting of these demands does not seem realistically obtainable. Israel, on the other hand, is striving to demilitarize the Gaza Strip, but Israeli officials estimate that this goal is not reachable as well.

PA Head Wants to Pursue Israel at the ICC

Hamas officials are not the only ones voicing threats. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas once again threatened to pursue Israel through the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Voice of Israel radio reported on Sunday. Speaking at a meeting of his Fatah faction in Ramallah, Abbas reportedly said that unless Israel agrees to discuss a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders, he would work to have the PA join several treaties and international bodies, including the ICC.

The PA has been trying to join international treaties as part of its unilateral push to gain statehood without negotiating with Israel, which is a direct violation of the Oslo Accords. In April, the PA requested to join 15 international agencies in breach of the conditions of the peace talks that were going on with Israel at that time.

PA officials realize, however, that joining the ICC entails risks for the PA, as it would give Israel a forum from which to pursue war crime charges against both the PA and Hamas. For this reason, senior Palestinian official and Fatah leader Abbas Zaki, who advocates acts of terror against Israeli civilians, stated at the end of August that he does not want the PA to join the ICC, adding that in his opinion, “there are no innocent Israelis.”

By Aryeh Savir
Staff writer, United with Israel