US President Donald Trump (R) welcomes Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on May 3, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority claimed on Saturday that the Palestinians have managed to “incapacitate” US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East, which has been referred to as the “ultimate deal” or the “deal of the century.”
The PA repeated its charge that Trump’s unseen plan was aimed at “liquidating” the Palestinian cause and national rights, and urged Palestinians to rally behind PA president Mahmoud Abbas.
The PA cautioned that although the Trump plan – which it called a “conspiracy” – has “subsided, it still hasn’t gone away completely.”
Palestinian sources said they believed the PA’s announcement referred to “unsuccessful attempts” by the US administration to “bypass” the PA leadership by establishing direct and indirect channels with some Palestinian figures and parties, including Hamas.
On Friday, three senior Trump administration officials – Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman – offered to help the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in return for an end to Hamas “aggression.” The offer was made in an article the three top officials published in The Washington Post.
Both the PA and Hamas see such offers as being part of Trump’s “deal of the century.”
The two rival parties claim the US administration is seeking to drive a wedge between the Palestinians and divide them into two separate entities – one in the West Bank and a second in the Gaza Strip.
The PA leadership has been boycotting the US administration since Trump’s decision in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The sources also noted that the PA’s announcement hinted at the “failure” of the Trump administration to convince key Arab countries to publicly endorse the upcoming peace plan.
Palestinian leader Abbas says Trump's 'crime' over Jerusalem precludes US peace role (Reuters)
PA officials were recently quoted as saying the Arab countries supported the Palestinian position, which is categorically opposed to Trump’s “ultimate deal.” The officials denied that the Arab countries have been exerting pressure on the Palestinians to accept Trump’s “deal of the century.”
The PA is convinced that the Palestinians’ strong opposition to Trump’s plan, as well as the reluctance of Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to publicly endorse it, have forced the US administration to reconsider its strategy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and put its plan on hold.
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesperson for the PA president’s office in Ramallah, said in a statement that the “steadfastness of the Palestinian people and their commitment to their leadership and their national principles have resulted in the obstruction” of Trump’s plan.
Abu Rudaineh said that had Trump’s plan succeeded, it would have been “transformed into a regional deal that would be harmful to all the people and countries in the region.”
The region, he said, was now at a “crossroads to make decisions on principled positions in a way that would harm the higher interests of its people.”
Abu Rudaineh urged Palestinians to “rally behind the [Palestinian] national option to prevent the deal of the century, which has subsided but not ended, from becoming a regional deal, the repercussions of which no-one can speculate.”
“The Palestinian leadership’s commitment to Palestinian and Arab options and national positions has given hope to the people who are continuing to suffer because of their failure to understand the truth about what is being planned against them,” he added.
“The prevalent chaos and tension in the region are a natural result of the failure to solve the Palestinian issue,” he said. “As long as Jerusalem is burning, so will the Arab world.”
He urged Palestinians to “restore the national spirit to face surprises, first and foremost the blatant US bias win favor of Israel.”
The PA spokesperson also lashed out at Israel and accused it of pursuing its effort to “Judaize” Jerusalem and “intensify illegal settlements.” Israel’s actions, he said, “require all Palestinians to stand behind their president to face the liquidation projects and conspiracies.”
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