Mahmoud Abbas: Boycott of Trump administration will continue

Abbas, who arrived in New York last weekend to attend the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, thanked the Palestinian-Americans for their role in supporting the Palestinian cause and people.

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September 24, 2019 01:06
3 minute read.
Mahmoud Abbas: Boycott of Trump administration will continue

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses Arab journalists in Ramallah on July 3. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

The Palestinian Authority’s boycott of the US administration will continue until the White House changes its policies toward the Palestinians and honors international resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday.

Abbas, who was speaking during a meeting in New York with members of the Palestinian-American community, accused US President Donald Trump’s administration of being “biased” in favor of Israel. The Palestinians, he added, won’t accept the US policy of imposing “dictates” on the Palestinians.

The PA president, who arrived in New York last weekend to attend the 74th session of the UN General Assembly,, thanked the Palestinian-Americans for their role in supporting the Palestinian cause and people, adding that they serve as a bridge between Americans and Palestinians.

Abbas denounced the Trump administration’s decisions regarding the Palestinians as “destructive to the peace process.”

These decisions, he noted, include US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and halting US financial aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

Abbas also accused the Israeli government of undermining the chances of reaching a just peace based on international resolutions.

Repeating his rejection of Israel’s demand that the PA stop paying salaries to families of Palestinians imprisoned for terrorism and those killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis, Abbas said: “We won’t deduct one penny from the salaries of our prisoners, martyrs and the injured.”

He again warned that the Palestinians will suspend all signed agreements with Israel if the Israeli government applies Israeli sovereignty to any part of the West Bank.

On the eve of last week’s election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that, if reelected, his government would extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea. Netanyahu’s pledge drew strong condemnation from the Palestinians, who threatened to halt work related to all agreements with Israel if the government carries out its promise.
Last July, Abbas announced that the PA leadership has decided to set up a committee to study mechanisms of halting work related to all signed agreements with Israel. His critics said that the announcement was “not serious” and expressed doubt that the PA would carry out its threat to suspend the agreements.

The PA Foreign Ministry called on the UN to “break its silence and take deterring measures” to force Israel to abide by international resolutions and laws. In a statement on the eve of the General Assembly session, the ministry expressed “resentment” over the failure of the international community to stop settlement construction in the West Bank and provide international protection for the Palestinians. It further accused Israel of working to “change the historical and legal reality” in Jerusalem.

PA officials said that Abbas is scheduled to deliver a speech before the GA reiterating his call for holding an international conference for peace in the Middle East. Abbas will also repeat his criticism of Israel and the Trump administration, and warn that their policies and actions would undermine the prospects of achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the officials added.

Abbas met on Sunday with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, discussing with them the latest developments surrounding the Palestinian issue. The PA president is also expected to hold talks with other world leaders on the sidelines of the General Assembly session.

Abbas and Palestinian officials accompanying him on the visit to New York are also scheduled to hold talks with representatives of donor countries to urge them to continue their financial aid to the Palestinians. The Palestinian leaders are focusing their effort on ensuring that the GA renew UNRWA’s mandate in light of the Trump administration decision to cut off US financial aid to the agency.

Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands and New Zealand recently announced that they were temporarily suspending financial contributions to the agency, pending the outcome of an investigation into a corruption scandal involving its senior leaders.

 


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