Palestinian Authority Cuts All Ties with Israel and US

Abbas called President Trump’s plan the “slap of the century” after announcement of the ‘deal of the century’ as a win-win by Trump

DESPARDES — The Palestinian Authority has cut all ties with the United States and Israel, including those relating to security, after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented by US President Donald Trump, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday.

Abbas was in Cairo to address the Arab League, which backed the Palestinians in their opposition to Trump’s plan.

Abbas will speak in the United Nations Security Council in the next two weeks about the peace plan, Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said on Wednesday.

Palestine land annexations since 1948

Mansour told reporters he hoped the 15-member Security Council, at the same meeting that Abbas would address, would vote on a draft resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

However, the United States is certain to veto any such resolution, diplomats said, allowing the Palestinians to take the draft text to the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, where a vote would publicly show how Trump’s peace plan has been received internationally.

“We will try our best with our friends to have the strongest possible draft resolution and to receive the strongest and largest possible voting in favor of that resolution,” Mansour said.

“Of course we would like to see strong, large opposition to this Trump plan,” he said with Tunisian U.N. Ambassador Moncef Baati, currently serving a two-year term on the Security Council, standing beside him.

The blueprint, endorsed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state that excludes Jewish settlements built in occupied territory and is under near-total Israeli security control.

“We’ve informed the Israeli side … that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States including security ties,” Abbas told the one-day emergency meeting, called to discuss Trump’s plan. Israeli officials had no immediate comment on his remarks.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s security forces have long cooperated in policing areas of the occupied West Bank that are under Palestinian control. The PA also has intelligence cooperation agreements with the CIA, which continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting the Trump administration’s peace efforts in 2017.

Abbas also said he had refused to discuss the plan with Trump by phone, or to receive even a copy of it to study it: “Trump asked that I speak to him by phone but I said ‘no’, and that he wants to send me a letter … but I refused it.”

Abbas said he did not want Trump to be able to say that he, Abbas, had been consulted. He reiterated his “complete” rejection of the Trump plan, presented on Tuesday.

Palestinian rights

The blueprint also proposes US recognition of Israeli settlements on occupied West Bank land and of Jerusalem as Israel’s indivisible capital.

The Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo said the plan would not lead to a comprehensive and just peace, and that the League would not cooperate with the US in implementing it.

The ministers affirmed Palestinian rights to create a future state based on the land captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, with East Jerusalem as capital, the final communique said.

Foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, among others, said there could be no peace without recognizing Palestinian rights and a comprehensive solution. Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the country consistently backs a two-state solution, as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions.

And Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement said the proposal would not have happened without the “complicity and betrayal” of several Arab states.

After Trump unveiled his plan, some Arab powers had appeared, despite historic support for the Palestinians, to prioritize close ties with the US and a shared hostility towards Iran over traditional Arab alliances.

Three Gulf Arab states — Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — attended the White House gathering where Trump announced his plan at the White House alongside Netanyahu.

“My vision presents a win-win solution for both sides,” Trump said.

Saudi Arabia said it “appreciates” Trump’s efforts and called for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, while Egypt urged “a careful and thorough examination of the US vision”.

Turkey and Iran issued some of the strongest condemnations, with the first branding the plan “stillborn” and the latter describing it as “doomed to fail”.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu said he would ask his cabinet this week to approve the application of Israeli law to Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Such a move could be a first step towards formal annexation of the settlements and the Jordan Valley — territory Israel has kept under military occupation since its capture in 1967.

Most countries consider Israeli settlements on land captured in war to be a violation of international law. Trump has changed US policy to withdraw such objections.

With input from Reuters

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