AM 720 KDWN
News, Traffic, Weather

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president said Sunday that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to unveil his proposal as part of a “day after” plan following the current war in the Gaza Strip, likely at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been made public.

Abbas is plotting his move even as the fighting continues to rage. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned Sunday that the 7-week-old military campaign in Gaza would stretch into September – despite growing anger among residents in southern Israel over the military’s inability to halt rocket and mortar fire out of the Palestinian territory following the death of a 4-year-old Israeli boy over the weekend.

In new fighting Sunday, the Israeli air force flattened a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a shopping center in southern Gaza, signaling a new escalation.

Palestinian officials said 13 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes, bringing the death toll to more than 2,100 Palestinians since fighting erupted on July 8. Sixty-eight Israelis have also died, all but four of them soldiers.

With no end in sight to the fighting, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian public he is working to end the fighting and lead the Palestinians to independence.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He said the Palestinians want a “fixed date” for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

“It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution,” he said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately. “Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever,” he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, to call for an end to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for their state. Israel captured all three areas in 1967, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

With Israel opposed to a withdrawal to its pre-1967 lines, it will likely seek U.S. help in thwarting the bid. The U.S. has historically vetoed Security Council resolutions seen as unfavorable to Israel.

The Palestinian official said that if this happens, the Palestinians will then begin the process of joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

The Palestinians were accepted as a nonmember state by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, a status that allows them to join international bodies, including the International Criminal Court. Israeli officials see a Palestinian bid to join the court as a hostile act – as well as a serious threat.

Israel strongly opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue independence at the United Nations, saying it is an attempt to circumvent the negotiating process. Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the latest Palestinian plans, saying it wanted to receive details officially.

Speaking to his Cabinet Sunday, Netanyahu said the public must show patience and warned the operation could go into September.

“I said on the first day of the operation that it could take time and we are prepared that this campaign might continue even after the start of the school year,” he said.

While the Israeli public has widely supported the campaign to halt rocket attacks out of Gaza, the government has come under criticism for its inability to stop the fire.

There was widespread anger following the death of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, who was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack Friday. Hundreds of people attended the boy’s funeral Sunday.

“In a second, it was over. We lost you, and we are left with horrific images that will accompany us our entire lives,” the boy’s mother, Gila, said in a eulogy.

During the fighting, Israel’s air raid warnings and rocket-defense system have largely protected the population from incoming rockets. But the system is unable to protect against mortar fire, which is fired from short range, giving little warning for people to run for cover.

“Why was it necessary to wait for a 4-year-old to be killed to turn the war against the mortar shells into a main goal?” Alex Fishman, a commentator on military affairs, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily. “After all, from the outset it was obvious that the fatal weapon in this war was not the rockets, but the mortar shells, against which there is no effective warning.”

The Gaza war stems from the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank by Hamas operatives in June, which triggered a massive Israeli arrest campaign in the West Bank, followed by an increase in rocket fire from Gaza.

Since the fighting began, Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes at Gaza, while Gaza militants have fired close to 4,000 rockets and mortars, according to the Israeli military.

Israel says it is targeting sites linked to militants, including rocket launchers, command centers and weapons depots. The U.N. says about three-fourths of the Palestinians killed have been civilians.

Barzak reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president said Sunday that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to unveil his proposal as part of a “day after” plan following the current war in the Gaza Strip, likely at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been made public.

Abbas is plotting his move even as the fighting continues to rage. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned Sunday that the 7-week-old military campaign in Gaza would stretch into September – despite growing anger among residents in southern Israel over the military’s inability to halt rocket and mortar fire out of the Palestinian territory following the death of a 4-year-old Israeli boy over the weekend.

In new fighting Sunday, the Israeli air force flattened a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a shopping center in southern Gaza, signaling a new escalation.

Palestinian officials said 13 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes, bringing the death toll to more than 2,100 Palestinians since fighting erupted on July 8. Sixty-eight Israelis have also died, all but four of them soldiers.

With no end in sight to the fighting, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian public he is working to end the fighting and lead the Palestinians to independence.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He said the Palestinians want a “fixed date” for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

“It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution,” he said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately. “Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever,” he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, to call for an end to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for their state. Israel captured all three areas in 1967, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

With Israel opposed to a withdrawal to its pre-1967 lines, it will likely seek U.S. help in thwarting the bid. The U.S. has historically vetoed Security Council resolutions seen as unfavorable to Israel.

The Palestinian official said that if this happens, the Palestinians will then begin the process of joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

The Palestinians were accepted as a nonmember state by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, a status that allows them to join international bodies, including the International Criminal Court. Israeli officials see a Palestinian bid to join the court as a hostile act – as well as a serious threat.

Israel strongly opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue independence at the United Nations, saying it is an attempt to circumvent the negotiating process. Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the latest Palestinian plans, saying it wanted to receive details officially.

Speaking to his Cabinet Sunday, Netanyahu said the public must show patience and warned the operation could go into September.

“I said on the first day of the operation that it could take time and we are prepared that this campaign might continue even after the start of the school year,” he said.

While the Israeli public has widely supported the campaign to halt rocket attacks out of Gaza, the government has come under criticism for its inability to stop the fire.

There was widespread anger following the death of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, who was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack Friday. Hundreds of people attended the boy’s funeral Sunday.

“In a second, it was over. We lost you, and we are left with horrific images that will accompany us our entire lives,” the boy’s mother, Gila, said in a eulogy.

During the fighting, Israel’s air raid warnings and rocket-defense system have largely protected the population from incoming rockets. But the system is unable to protect against mortar fire, which is fired from short range, giving little warning for people to run for cover.

“Why was it necessary to wait for a 4-year-old to be killed to turn the war against the mortar shells into a main goal?” Alex Fishman, a commentator on military affairs, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily. “After all, from the outset it was obvious that the fatal weapon in this war was not the rockets, but the mortar shells, against which there is no effective warning.”

The Gaza war stems from the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank by Hamas operatives in June, which triggered a massive Israeli arrest campaign in the West Bank, followed by an increase in rocket fire from Gaza.

Since the fighting began, Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes at Gaza, while Gaza militants have fired close to 4,000 rockets and mortars, according to the Israeli military.

Israel says it is targeting sites linked to militants, including rocket launchers, command centers and weapons depots. The U.N. says about three-fourths of the Palestinians killed have been civilians.

Barzak reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president said Sunday that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to unveil his proposal as part of a “day after” plan following the current war in the Gaza Strip, likely at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been made public.

Abbas is plotting his move even as the fighting continues to rage. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned Sunday that the 7-week-old military campaign in Gaza would stretch into September – despite growing anger among residents in southern Israel over the military’s inability to halt rocket and mortar fire out of the Palestinian territory following the death of a 4-year-old Israeli boy over the weekend.

In new fighting Sunday, the Israeli air force flattened a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a shopping center in southern Gaza, signaling a new escalation.

Palestinian officials said 13 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes, bringing the death toll to more than 2,100 Palestinians since fighting erupted on July 8. Sixty-eight Israelis have also died, all but four of them soldiers.

With no end in sight to the fighting, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian public he is working to end the fighting and lead the Palestinians to independence.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He said the Palestinians want a “fixed date” for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

“It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution,” he said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately. “Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever,” he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, to call for an end to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for their state. Israel captured all three areas in 1967, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

With Israel opposed to a withdrawal to its pre-1967 lines, it will likely seek U.S. help in thwarting the bid. The U.S. has historically vetoed Security Council resolutions seen as unfavorable to Israel.

The Palestinian official said that if this happens, the Palestinians will then begin the process of joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

The Palestinians were accepted as a nonmember state by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, a status that allows them to join international bodies, including the International Criminal Court. Israeli officials see a Palestinian bid to join the court as a hostile act – as well as a serious threat.

Israel strongly opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue independence at the United Nations, saying it is an attempt to circumvent the negotiating process. Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the latest Palestinian plans, saying it wanted to receive details officially.

Speaking to his Cabinet Sunday, Netanyahu said the public must show patience and warned the operation could go into September.

“I said on the first day of the operation that it could take time and we are prepared that this campaign might continue even after the start of the school year,” he said.

While the Israeli public has widely supported the campaign to halt rocket attacks out of Gaza, the government has come under criticism for its inability to stop the fire.

There was widespread anger following the death of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, who was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack Friday. Hundreds of people attended the boy’s funeral Sunday.

“In a second, it was over. We lost you, and we are left with horrific images that will accompany us our entire lives,” the boy’s mother, Gila, said in a eulogy.

During the fighting, Israel’s air raid warnings and rocket-defense system have largely protected the population from incoming rockets. But the system is unable to protect against mortar fire, which is fired from short range, giving little warning for people to run for cover.

“Why was it necessary to wait for a 4-year-old to be killed to turn the war against the mortar shells into a main goal?” Alex Fishman, a commentator on military affairs, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily. “After all, from the outset it was obvious that the fatal weapon in this war was not the rockets, but the mortar shells, against which there is no effective warning.”

The Gaza war stems from the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank by Hamas operatives in June, which triggered a massive Israeli arrest campaign in the West Bank, followed by an increase in rocket fire from Gaza.

Since the fighting began, Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes at Gaza, while Gaza militants have fired close to 4,000 rockets and mortars, according to the Israeli military.

Israel says it is targeting sites linked to militants, including rocket launchers, command centers and weapons depots. The U.N. says about three-fourths of the Palestinians killed have been civilians.

Barzak reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president said Sunday that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to unveil his proposal as part of a “day after” plan following the current war in the Gaza Strip, likely at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been made public.

Abbas is plotting his move even as the fighting continues to rage. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned Sunday that the 7-week-old military campaign in Gaza would stretch into September – despite growing anger among residents in southern Israel over the military’s inability to halt rocket and mortar fire out of the Palestinian territory following the death of a 4-year-old Israeli boy over the weekend.

In new fighting Sunday, the Israeli air force flattened a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a shopping center in southern Gaza, signaling a new escalation.

Palestinian officials said 13 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes, bringing the death toll to more than 2,100 Palestinians since fighting erupted on July 8. Sixty-eight Israelis have also died, all but four of them soldiers.

With no end in sight to the fighting, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian public he is working to end the fighting and lead the Palestinians to independence.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He said the Palestinians want a “fixed date” for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

“It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution,” he said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately. “Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever,” he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, to call for an end to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for their state. Israel captured all three areas in 1967, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

With Israel opposed to a withdrawal to its pre-1967 lines, it will likely seek U.S. help in thwarting the bid. The U.S. has historically vetoed Security Council resolutions seen as unfavorable to Israel.

The Palestinian official said that if this happens, the Palestinians will then begin the process of joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

The Palestinians were accepted as a nonmember state by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, a status that allows them to join international bodies, including the International Criminal Court. Israeli officials see a Palestinian bid to join the court as a hostile act – as well as a serious threat.

Israel strongly opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue independence at the United Nations, saying it is an attempt to circumvent the negotiating process. Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the latest Palestinian plans, saying it wanted to receive details officially.

Speaking to his Cabinet Sunday, Netanyahu said the public must show patience and warned the operation could go into September.

“I said on the first day of the operation that it could take time and we are prepared that this campaign might continue even after the start of the school year,” he said.

While the Israeli public has widely supported the campaign to halt rocket attacks out of Gaza, the government has come under criticism for its inability to stop the fire.

There was widespread anger following the death of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, who was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack Friday. Hundreds of people attended the boy’s funeral Sunday.

“In a second, it was over. We lost you, and we are left with horrific images that will accompany us our entire lives,” the boy’s mother, Gila, said in a eulogy.

During the fighting, Israel’s air raid warnings and rocket-defense system have largely protected the population from incoming rockets. But the system is unable to protect against mortar fire, which is fired from short range, giving little warning for people to run for cover.

“Why was it necessary to wait for a 4-year-old to be killed to turn the war against the mortar shells into a main goal?” Alex Fishman, a commentator on military affairs, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily. “After all, from the outset it was obvious that the fatal weapon in this war was not the rockets, but the mortar shells, against which there is no effective warning.”

The Gaza war stems from the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank by Hamas operatives in June, which triggered a massive Israeli arrest campaign in the West Bank, followed by an increase in rocket fire from Gaza.

Since the fighting began, Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes at Gaza, while Gaza militants have fired close to 4,000 rockets and mortars, according to the Israeli military.

Israel says it is targeting sites linked to militants, including rocket launchers, command centers and weapons depots. The U.N. says about three-fourths of the Palestinians killed have been civilians.

Barzak reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president said Sunday that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to unveil his proposal as part of a “day after” plan following the current war in the Gaza Strip, likely at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been made public.

Abbas is plotting his move even as the fighting continues to rage. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned Sunday that the 7-week-old military campaign in Gaza would stretch into September – despite growing anger among residents in southern Israel over the military’s inability to halt rocket and mortar fire out of the Palestinian territory following the death of a 4-year-old Israeli boy over the weekend.

In new fighting Sunday, the Israeli air force flattened a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a shopping center in southern Gaza, signaling a new escalation.

Palestinian officials said 13 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes, bringing the death toll to more than 2,100 Palestinians since fighting erupted on July 8. Sixty-eight Israelis have also died, all but four of them soldiers.

With no end in sight to the fighting, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian public he is working to end the fighting and lead the Palestinians to independence.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He said the Palestinians want a “fixed date” for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

“It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution,” he said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately. “Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever,” he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, to call for an end to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for their state. Israel captured all three areas in 1967, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

With Israel opposed to a withdrawal to its pre-1967 lines, it will likely seek U.S. help in thwarting the bid. The U.S. has historically vetoed Security Council resolutions seen as unfavorable to Israel.

The Palestinian official said that if this happens, the Palestinians will then begin the process of joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

The Palestinians were accepted as a nonmember state by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, a status that allows them to join international bodies, including the International Criminal Court. Israeli officials see a Palestinian bid to join the court as a hostile act – as well as a serious threat.

Israel strongly opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue independence at the United Nations, saying it is an attempt to circumvent the negotiating process. Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the latest Palestinian plans, saying it wanted to receive details officially.

Speaking to his Cabinet Sunday, Netanyahu said the public must show patience and warned the operation could go into September.

“I said on the first day of the operation that it could take time and we are prepared that this campaign might continue even after the start of the school year,” he said.

While the Israeli public has widely supported the campaign to halt rocket attacks out of Gaza, the government has come under criticism for its inability to stop the fire.

There was widespread anger following the death of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, who was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack Friday. Hundreds of people attended the boy’s funeral Sunday.

“In a second, it was over. We lost you, and we are left with horrific images that will accompany us our entire lives,” the boy’s mother, Gila, said in a eulogy.

During the fighting, Israel’s air raid warnings and rocket-defense system have largely protected the population from incoming rockets. But the system is unable to protect against mortar fire, which is fired from short range, giving little warning for people to run for cover.

“Why was it necessary to wait for a 4-year-old to be killed to turn the war against the mortar shells into a main goal?” Alex Fishman, a commentator on military affairs, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily. “After all, from the outset it was obvious that the fatal weapon in this war was not the rockets, but the mortar shells, against which there is no effective warning.”

The Gaza war stems from the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank by Hamas operatives in June, which triggered a massive Israeli arrest campaign in the West Bank, followed by an increase in rocket fire from Gaza.

Since the fighting began, Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes at Gaza, while Gaza militants have fired close to 4,000 rockets and mortars, according to the Israeli military.

Israel says it is targeting sites linked to militants, including rocket launchers, command centers and weapons depots. The U.N. says about three-fourths of the Palestinians killed have been civilians.

Barzak reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president said Sunday that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to unveil his proposal as part of a “day after” plan following the current war in the Gaza Strip, likely at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not yet been made public.

Abbas is plotting his move even as the fighting continues to rage. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned Sunday that the 7-week-old military campaign in Gaza would stretch into September – despite growing anger among residents in southern Israel over the military’s inability to halt rocket and mortar fire out of the Palestinian territory following the death of a 4-year-old Israeli boy over the weekend.

In new fighting Sunday, the Israeli air force flattened a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a shopping center in southern Gaza, signaling a new escalation.

Palestinian officials said 13 people were killed in Israeli airstrikes, bringing the death toll to more than 2,100 Palestinians since fighting erupted on July 8. Sixty-eight Israelis have also died, all but four of them soldiers.

With no end in sight to the fighting, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian public he is working to end the fighting and lead the Palestinians to independence.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He said the Palestinians want a “fixed date” for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

“It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution,” he said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately. “Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever,” he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council, whose resolutions are legally binding, to call for an end to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for their state. Israel captured all three areas in 1967, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

With Israel opposed to a withdrawal to its pre-1967 lines, it will likely seek U.S. help in thwarting the bid. The U.S. has historically vetoed Security Council resolutions seen as unfavorable to Israel.

The Palestinian official said that if this happens, the Palestinians will then begin the process of joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

The Palestinians were accepted as a nonmember state by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, a status that allows them to join international bodies, including the International Criminal Court. Israeli officials see a Palestinian bid to join the court as a hostile act – as well as a serious threat.

Israel strongly opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue independence at the United Nations, saying it is an attempt to circumvent the negotiating process. Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the latest Palestinian plans, saying it wanted to receive details officially.

Speaking to his Cabinet Sunday, Netanyahu said the public must show patience and warned the operation could go into September.

“I said on the first day of the operation that it could take time and we are prepared that this campaign might continue even after the start of the school year,” he said.

While the Israeli public has widely supported the campaign to halt rocket attacks out of Gaza, the government has come under criticism for its inability to stop the fire.

There was widespread anger following the death of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, who was killed in a Palestinian mortar attack Friday. Hundreds of people attended the boy’s funeral Sunday.

“In a second, it was over. We lost you, and we are left with horrific images that will accompany us our entire lives,” the boy’s mother, Gila, said in a eulogy.

During the fighting, Israel’s air raid warnings and rocket-defense system have largely protected the population from incoming rockets. But the system is unable to protect against mortar fire, which is fired from short range, giving little warning for people to run for cover.

“Why was it necessary to wait for a 4-year-old to be killed to turn the war against the mortar shells into a main goal?” Alex Fishman, a commentator on military affairs, wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily. “After all, from the outset it was obvious that the fatal weapon in this war was not the rockets, but the mortar shells, against which there is no effective warning.”

The Gaza war stems from the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank by Hamas operatives in June, which triggered a massive Israeli arrest campaign in the West Bank, followed by an increase in rocket fire from Gaza.

Since the fighting began, Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes at Gaza, while Gaza militants have fired close to 4,000 rockets and mortars, according to the Israeli military.

Israel says it is targeting sites linked to militants, including rocket launchers, command centers and weapons depots. The U.N. says about three-fourths of the Palestinians killed have been civilians.

Barzak reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president said Sunday that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

The aides said President Mahmoud Abbas would present his proposal as part of a “day after” plan following the end of the current war in the Gaza Strip. Abbas is expected to unveil his plan at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because he has not yet made the plan public.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He said the Palestinians want a fixed date for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

“This should be done through a mechanism to compel Israel as the occupying power to end its occupation and agree on a timetable for the implementation of the withdrawal,” he said.

With Israel at war with Hamas militants in Gaza, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian public he is working to end the fighting and lead the Palestinians to independence.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

“It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution,” he said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately. “Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever,” he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council to call for an end to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for their state. Israel captured all three areas in 1967, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

With Israel opposed to a withdrawal to its pre-1967 lines, it will likely seek U.S. help in thwarting the bid. The U.S. has historically vetoed Security Council resolutions seen as unfavorable to Israel.

The Palestinian official said that if this happens, the Palestinians will then begin the process of joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

Israel strongly opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue independence at the United Nations, saying it is an attempt to circumvent the negotiating process. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the latest Palestinian plans, saying it wanted to receive details officially.

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president said Sunday that he will soon appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war and make way for an independent Palestinian state.

The aides said President Mahmoud Abbas would present his proposal as part of a “day after” plan following the end of the current war in the Gaza Strip. Abbas is expected to unveil his plan at a meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because he has not yet made the plan public.

One official said that Abbas has grown disillusioned after two decades of failed efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement with Israel. He said the Palestinians want a fixed date for an Israeli withdrawal from lands claimed by the Palestinians and a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state.

“This should be done through a mechanism to compel Israel as the occupying power to end its occupation and agree on a timetable for the implementation of the withdrawal,” he said.

With Israel at war with Hamas militants in Gaza, Abbas has been searching for ways to assert himself on the international stage. He is seeking a foothold back in Gaza, which was captured from his forces by Hamas seven years ago, and is eager to show the Palestinian public he is working to end the fighting and lead the Palestinians to independence.

In an interview on Egyptian television over the weekend, Abbas said he would soon present his plans to Arab, American and European leaders.

“It is an unconventional solution, but I will not declare a war on Israel. It is a political and diplomatic solution,” he said.

He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would tell the United Nations in an address next month that the Palestinians want independence immediately. “Otherwise, this opportunity will be lost forever,” he said.

An aide to Abbas said the plan would include an appeal to the Security Council to call for an end to Israel’s occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for their state. Israel captured all three areas in 1967, though it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

With Israel opposed to a withdrawal to its pre-1967 lines, it will likely seek U.S. help in thwarting the bid. The U.S. has historically vetoed Security Council resolutions seen as unfavorable to Israel.

The Palestinian official said that if this happens, the Palestinians will then begin the process of joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel.

Israel strongly opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue independence at the United Nations, saying it is an attempt to circumvent the negotiating process. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined comment on the latest Palestinian plans, saying it wanted to receive details officially.

Palestinian president prepares new UN appeal

KDWN

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Aides to the Palestinian president say he is preparing a new appeal to the international community to order Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The officials say President Mahmoud Abbas’ appeal is part of a “day after” plan following the end of the current war in the Gaza Strip.

The officials say Abbas will ask the U.N. Security Council to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw from lands captured in 1967 to make way for a Palestinian state. If the council does not approve a resolution, they say the Palestinians will then pursue war crimes charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been officially unveiled.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Israeli airstrikes leveled a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a two-story shopping center in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, signaling a new escalation in seven weeks of fighting with Hamas.

The strikes in the southern town of Rafah came just hours after Israel bombed a residential tower in Gaza City, collapsing the 12-story building with 44 apartments.

A total of eight people were killed in Sunday’s airstrikes. Israel said one of the dead was a Hamas official involved in handling the group’s finances.

The targeting of large buildings appears to be part of a new tactic by Israel. Over the weekend, the army began warning Gaza residents in automated phone calls that it would target buildings harboring “terrorist infrastructure” and that they should stay away.

A senior military official confirmed that Israel has a policy of striking at buildings containing Hamas operational centers or those from which military activities are launched. The official said each strike required prior approval from military lawyers and is carried out only after the local population is warned.

However, he said, there was now a widening of locations that the military can target. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter with reporters.

Speaking ahead of Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gaza residents to keep their distance from Hamas militants.

“I call on the people of Gaza to immediately evacuate any structure that Hamas is using to commit acts of terror,” he said. “Every one of these structures is a target for us.”

In the 12-story apartment tower, the target was a fourth-floor apartment where Hamas ran an operations center, according to Israeli media. In the past, Israel has carried out pinpoint strikes, targeting apartments in high-rises with missiles, while leaving the buildings standing.

The military declined immediate comment when asked why it collapsed the entire building instead of striking a specific apartment.

Meanwhile, Gaza militants continued to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel, including at least 10 on Sunday, one of which wounded three people on the Israeli side of the main Gaza crossing, the military said.

Israel’s Defense Ministry said the three wounded were civilian drivers waiting to transport wounded Gazans who had been brought into Israel for treatment in hospitals. The Erez crossing is used by journalists, aid workers and Palestinians with Israeli permits to enter or leave Gaza.

In southern Israel, hundreds of people attended the funeral of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, who was killed Friday in a mortar attack. The mourners included Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin.

Elsewhere, five rockets were fired from Syria and fell in open areas in northern Israel. It was not immediately clear whether they were fired by pro-government forces or rebel groups.

Amid persistent violence, Egypt has urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume indirect talks in Cairo on a durable cease-fire, but stopped short of issuing invitations.

Several rounds of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas have collapsed, along with temporary cease-fires that accompanied them. The gaps between Israel and the Islamic militant group on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza remain vast, and there’s no sign either is willing to budge.

The Israeli military said it had carried out some 20 strikes on Gaza since midnight Saturday. Gaza police and medical officials reported eight fatalities.

The seven-story Zourab building bombed by Israeli aircraft early Sunday housed an office of the Hamas-run Interior Ministry. Witnesses said the building in Rafah was leveled and that the strikes caused severe damage to nearby shops, homes and cars. It was not immediately clear if anyone was wounded or killed.

Another strike hit a nearby shopping center with dozens of shops, sparking a fire that gutted the two-story building and wounding seven people. After daybreak Sunday, smoke was still rising from the site as shop owners inspected the damage. Windows and doors had been blown out in nearby buildings.

The military said the two buildings were attacked because they housed facilities linked to militants, but did not provide details. Twenty-two people were wounded in Saturday’s strike on the tower in Gaza City.

Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra, who confirmed the casualty figures for the strikes, said two people were killed in a pair of airstrikes near a coastal road on Sunday, including one on a group of people coming out of a mosque after morning prayers.

Two more fatalities were registered when a motorcycle following a car evacuating the wounded from the strikes was targeted, he said.

Another man was killed in an airstrike on a car, and an 18-month-old infant and a 17-year-old were killed in an airstrike on an apartment building in Gaza City. Three people were killed in an airstrike on a house in Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, police said.

Palestinians identified the man traveling in the car as Mohammed al-Ghoul. Israel said al-Ghoul was responsible for Hamas’ financial transfers for “terror funds.” It did not elaborate, and the claim could not immediately be verified.

The U.N. estimates that more than 17,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged beyond repair since the war began on July 8. In some of the attacks, family homes with three or four floors were pulverized.

However, the weekend strikes marked the first time large buildings were toppled.

Since the fighting began, Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes at Gaza, while Gaza militants have fired close to 4,000 rockets and mortars, according to the Israeli military.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, including close to 500 children, have been killed, according to Palestinian health officials and U.N. figures. Israel has lost 64 soldiers and four civilians.

Israel says it is targeting sites linked to militants, including rocket launchers, command centers and weapons depots. The U.N. says about three-fourths of the Palestinians killed have been civilians.

With the war showing no signs of winding down, educational officials in Gaza said they were delaying the start of both U.N. and government-run schools. Classes in both were supposed to begin Sunday.

The U.N. said it would begin a gradual back to school program this week “to help students and teachers start to transition into a new school year.”

The nearly two-month Gaza war stems from the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank by Hamas operatives in June, which triggered a massive Israeli arrest campaign in the West Bank, followed by an increase in rocket fire from Gaza.

Enav reported from Jerusalem.