SENIOR PLO OFFICIAL Saeb Erekat speaks to reporters about Israeli appropriation of West Bank land, near Jericho last year..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Senior negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians should suspend their recognition of Israel until it recognizes the “State of Palestine,” a day after US President Donald Trump reiterated that he took Jerusalem off the negotiations table.
“President Trump has wanted to remove Jerusalem from the negotiations table,” Erekat said in a statement on Tuesday. “Instead, he has removed the United States from the negotiations table. We have no option but to implement the recommendations of the Central Council to suspend recognition of Israel until Israel recognizes Palestine.”
The Palestinian Central Council, a top PLO body, decided in January to entrust the PLO Executive Committee with suspending recognition of Israel until the Jewish state recognizes the “State of Palestine,” halts settlement building and annuls its annexation of east Jerusalem.
However, the Executive Committee has yet to suspend recognition of Israel.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday, Trump restated that he took Jerusalem off the negotiations table when he announced in early December that he was recognizing the city as Israel’s capital. He has made a similar comment at least twice in the past several weeks.
In February, Josh Raffel, a White House official, said that Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s Middle East peace envoys, were “finalizing” the details of a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
On several occasions since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Abbas has said he would not accept an American- proposed peace plan.