RAMALLAH, West Bank —It's a busy week in Mideast diplomacy, book-ended by the launch of Israel-Hamas talks about a border deal for blockaded Gaza and the Palestinian president's U.N. speech about a new strategy for dealing with Israel.
Egypt is hosting a brief round of indirect talks Tuesday in Cairo between an Israeli and a Palestinian delegation, the latter including Hamas members, on stable border arrangements for Gaza. The talks about Gaza's future seem to be a long shot, and failure could set the stage for another Israel-Hamas war, even if neither side wants it.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' apparent shift to inviting international pressure on Israel, rather than relying solely on so far unsuccessful U.S. mediation, is poised to strain ties with Washington. Abbas adviser Nabil Abu Rdeneh said the Palestinian leader would present a new strategy in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday. Abbas is expected would ask the U.N. Security Council to issue a binding resolution, with a specific date for ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Captured by Israel in 1967, the territories were recognized by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 as making up a state of Palestine. In the event of a likely U.S. veto at the Security Council, Abbas would seek membership in dozens of international institutions and agencies, including the International Criminal Court. Abbas is to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday. The U.S. 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.
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