Monday, 24 February, 2020

Hamas calls on Abbas to take practical measures against Trump's deal

Mahmoud Abbas Poll finds Palestinians overwhelmingly reject Trump plan
Robin Buchanan | 14 February, 2020, 00:42

Abbas has tried to rally worldwide support against the Trump plan, with limited success.

The rare joint appearance of the Palestinian Authority president and a former Israeli leader before global media appeared aimed at demonstrating to Israelis in particular, and the wider worldwide community, that the Palestinians once had an Israeli partner they negotiated with seriously - and that they could do so again under the right circumstance.

The United States doesn't need the Middle East the way it used to. Geographically, they span Europe, South Africa, Australia, Canada and Central America. The Arab League's closing statement said the US plan contradicts peace process principles and United Nations resolutions.

"In line with the long-standing European Union position, we remain committed to a negotiated two-state solution, based on 1967 lines, with equivalent land swaps, as may be agreed between the parties, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition", the five European Union members said in a joint statement delivered by Belgium's foreign minister.

Released on January 28, Trump's plan would recognize Israel's authority over its West Bank settlements and require Palestinians meet a hard series of conditions for a state, with its capital in a West Bank village east of Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has reaffirmed his rejection of the peace plan offered by the USA, declaring that it will not be accepted by the Palestinian people. "No, this deal is not just", Abbas said.


Saying he endorses a "two-state solution", Guterres urged Palestinians and Israelis to reach an agreement "which the global community can support".

Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from the United Nations headquarters in NY, said the Palestinians and their allies may have "misplayed their hands". And as Israel grew stronger, so too did the ultra-nationalists who believe that the West Bank and Gaza belong to Jewish settlers and who have strategically constructed their settlements to cut across any future Palestinian state.

"I affirm, here, that it is necessary that this deal or any part of it not be considered an worldwide reference for negotiations", he said. Who has the right to give this as a gift to one state or another?

"Even if you have criticisms of specific elements of the plan you must embrace its spirit, this new pragmatic approach to resolve the conflict, but Abbas refuses to be pragmatic", he told the Security Council.

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process reported that it has been rejected by the Palestinian Government, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and some members of the African Union. So we have to negotiate with the Palestinians.

Steps by Israel to annex Palestinian territory, "if implemented, could not pass unchallenged", Borrell said.


Breaking with past American administrations, the USA plan announced late last month envisions the creation of a Palestinian state in about 70 percent of the West Bank, a small handful of neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, most of Gaza and some areas of southern Israel - if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, disarm Hamas and other terror groups in the coastal enclave, and fulfill other conditions.

Abbas said he is ready to start negotiations under the sponsorship of the Quartet and based on internationally agreed parameters.

The Palestinian leader said the United States can no longer be the sole Middle East mediator.

"I have come to you on behalf of 13 million Palestinians to call for a just peace - that is all", he said.

"I am serious about what I say. We also call for the implementation of the Arab peace initiative".

The veteran 84-year-old leader, long considered a moderate among the Palestinians, rejected the use of violence but said that street protests showed the deep opposition to Israeli occupation.


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