TEL AVIV – The Palestinians have a behind-the-scenes understanding with the Obama administration to use the Palestinian threat of pursuing international war crimes against Israel to force the Jewish state to agree to a long-term cease-fire, according to Egyptian diplomatic sources involved in truce negotiations.

Israel and Egypt view the understanding as a tactic to pressure Israel and not as a serious plan to go to the International Criminal Court, or ICC, the sources said.

Last week, the Palestinians held meetings in Rome to discuss joining the ICC, with the ultimate goal of filing charges against Israel.

“Israel has left us with no other option,” said Riad Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, speaking at The Hague last week.

The PA has asked the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations to sign a document agreeing to allow the PA to represent them at the ICC as “the State of Palestine.”

The news comes as truce talks with Hamas abruptly ended today after rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza Strip just two hours before a 72-hour cease-fire was set to expire.

Hamas, for its part, denied it was behind the attacks, but the terror group warned it will renew its rocket war if truce talks fail.

Israel today amassed forces along the Gaza border, sending a clear signal it is ready to renew its offensive against Hamas if the truce talks indeed fall apart.

Egypt yesterday announced Israel and Hamas agreed to extend a short-term truce to five days while a long-term ceasefire is being negotiated.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces told WND: “The IDF remains alert and maintains a high level of preparedness with both defensive capabilities, and striking capabilities in order to address a renewed aggression and will immediately respond to any threat to Israel.”

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