Palestinian president denounces Trump's peace plan as 'the slap of the century'

Jan 16, 2018, 00:52
Palestinian president denounces Trump's peace plan as 'the slap of the century'

Abbas said "no" to US President Donald Trump's peace plan.

In a fiery speech to the Palestinian Central Council, a decision-making body, on Sunday, Mr Abbas criticised Mr Trump and his policies towards the Palestinians.

The majority of the global community, including the United Kingdom, have their embassies in Tel Aviv as the Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as the capital of their state. And we have now said "no" to Trump and others. "We told him the deal of the century was the slap of the century".

A former Hamas official revealed back in December that the USA administration had proposed making the 12,000-dweller West Bank village of Abu Dis, which borders Jerusalem, a future Palestinian capital instead of East Jerusalem.

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However, several Palestinian and Lebanese officials, have reportedly said that a forthcoming United States peace plan includes Abu Dis as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The Israeli defence ministry claimed that past year the PA paid more than 550 million shekels ($160 million) to Palestinian prisoners, freed prisoners and their families, as well as 687 million shekels ($190 million) to the families of Palestinians killed or wounded by Israel. "To there we have to advance, with or without the Palestinians".

"We will engage in any serious peace talks under United Nations auspices to end the occupation", Abbas added. "On the phone? On television?"

Trump is slated to follow through on his threats by drastically cutting the USA contribution to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, AP reported on Sunday, citing unnamed U.S. officials.

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Palestinian sources said the council will also discuss the internal Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party, as well as Palestinian strategies toward US and Israel policies over Jerusalem.

The US ambassador to Israel David Friedman earlier this week blamed Palestinian authorities for the failure of peace efforts, after an Israeli settler was killed in occupied West Bank.

Israel says it would welcome the United States as a mediator but a US bid to revive negotiations, led by Trump's adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has so far shown no progress.

Even so, Abbas reaffirmed his commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But if true, the proposal would fall far short of Palestinian claims to the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for an independent state.

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