Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a ceremony marking the 54th anniversary of Fatah's founding, in Ramallah on December 31.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The PA on Saturday praised Arab and Muslim leaders for supporting the Palestinians in their standoff with the US administration.
The Palestinian Authority said the leaders who met in Mecca over the weekend “endorsed” the Palestinian position and “sent a strong and clear message to the US administration and Israel that the only way to achieve a just and comprehensive peace was through international resolutions,” said Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA presidency in Ramallah. “Everyone must understand peace has only one clear path and its address is the legitimate leadership of the Palestinian people, and not fake deals or economic schemes that are not worth the ink they are written with.”
The Palestinian leadership, Abu Rudaineh said, “has not given a mandate to anyone to speak on its behalf or on behalf of the Palestinian people. We will not accept any deals or conferences whose goal is to undermine the rights of our people.”
The PA spokesman was referring to the summits held in Mecca over the weekend by the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“The resolutions of these summits are a victory for the Palestinian stance,” Abu Rudaineh added.
The GCC, however, made no reference to the Palestinians in its final communique that was issued after the meeting. Instead, it focused on the Iranian threat to Gulf states and strongly condemned the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen for launching terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia. The GCC also condemned the sabotage attacks that targeted four commercial ships in the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates.
The OIC, on the other hand, condemned countries that have made the “illegal and irresponsible decision” to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The Palestinian people have the right to achieve their inalienable national rights, including the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state,” the OIC said.
In an implicit criticism of US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East, the OIC said it rejects any plan “that does not comply with the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinians as recognized by international legitimacy.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech before the OIC summit that the Palestinians will “not sell Jerusalem or give up their principles and national rights.” The Palestinians, he said, will remain steadfast on their land, will not bow to anyone but God, and will continue the struggle until they achieve their national goals.
Abbas said the Palestinians are facing a “very difficult phase, and that may prompt the Palestinians to take fateful decisions.” He accused the US administration of “encouraging” Israel to act as a state above international law and “taking a series of measures in violation of international legitimacy.”
Abbas repeated his appeal to the Arabs and Muslims to provide the PA with a financial security net so that it could face the crisis resulting from Israel’s deduction of payments made to families of prisoners and “martyrs” from tax and tariff revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians.
Hassan Asfour, a former PLO negotiator and PA minister, said the Palestinian cause was not the central issue at the Mecca summits. He pointed out that the GCC summit totally ignored the Palestinian cause and the issue of Jerusalem. He also noted that Abbas was treated as a “second-class president” during the Mecca summits.
“The central [Palestinian] issue in the regional conflict was absent in favor of a serious and important issue concerning Iran’s anti-Gulf actions and the ensuing tensions that benefit the US,” Asfour wrote on the Palestinian Amad website. “Unfortunately, we did not see any angry reaction for the president of Palestine and his delegation to the catastrophic absence [of the Palestinian cause].”
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