Egypt will invite Palestinian and Israeli delegations to Cairo to resume truce talks that ended Tuesday without a lasting deal, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday after meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Agence France-Presse reported. “My main goal is for the truce talks to resume in Egypt as soon as possible to avoid more casualties and sacrifices,” Abbas said at a news conference.
Abbas’ announcement came just hours after Hamas said it would support any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court, or ICC.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas leader who was a member of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo, reportedly has said his organization has signed a paper of support requested by Abbas. During the current conflict in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians have accused Israel of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting civilians and demanded an international inquiry into the actions of the Israeli army.
Abbas has been under mounting domestic pressure to turn to the ICC since the launch of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge July 8. He had said he would not make such a move without the written support of all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, the Associated Press reported.
With Hamas now pledging its support, the pressure on Abbas is likely to increase. If Palestine does join the ICC, however, Hamas itself could also be investigated for its rocket attacks on Israel.
Meanwhile, as the fighting in the region intensified Saturday, with Israeli airstrikes killing at least seven Palestinians across Gaza and a 4-year-old Israeli boy being killed by Hamas’ rocket fire, Hamas said it will not adhere to any additional temporary cease-fire agreements.
Today we've informed the residents of Gaza to distance themselves from any sites used by terrorists in light of impending IDF strikes.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) August 23, 2014
“Israel only understands the language of force and resistance, and continues with the war of attrition to achieve goals,” Marzouk told Al Jazeera, adding that temporary breaks in fighting had only allowed Israel time to expand its range of demands.
During the past seven weeks of fighting, more than 2,090 Palestinians, almost 500 of them children, have been killed, AP reported. Over the same period, hundreds of thousands of Gazans have been left homeless, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said. Meanwhile, Israel has lost 64 soldiers and four civilians.