Abbas: 1,000 ‘no’s to the Trump plan

Referring to the plan as “the slap of the century,” Abbas said he did not find anything new in Trump’s announcement.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech following the announcement by the U.S. President Donald Trump of the Mideast peace plan, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 28, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech following the announcement by the U.S. President Donald Trump of the Mideast peace plan, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 28, 2020
Palestinians from across the political spectrum have strongly rejected US President Donald Trump’s plan for Mideast peace, which was unveiled by the White House on Tuesday.
“We say 1,000 ‘no’s to this deal,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said.
Referring to the plan as “the slap of the century,” Abbas said he did not find anything new in Trump’s announcement.
“We heard two years ago that he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” he said. “They kept asking us to wait until the plan is announced. Now, we see that we were right when we rejected it from the beginning. Jerusalem is not for sale. Our rights are not for sale. The plot of the century won’t pass, and it will end up in the dustbin of history.”
Abbas claimed that Trump’s plan was based on the Balfour Declaration “devised by the US and UK to liquidate the Palestinian cause. All schemes to liquidate the Palestinian cause will fail.”
Abbas announced that he will immediately start taking measures “that require changing the role of the Palestinian Authority in accordance with resolutions taken by the PLO.” He did not specify the nature of the measures.
PLO institutions have previously called for revoking Palestinian recognition of Israel, halting security coordination with Israel in the West Bank and renouncing signed agreements between the PA and Israel.
Palestinian officials and political factions vowed to work toward thwarting the plan, also known as the “Deal of the Century,” on the pretext that it aims to “liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
Abbas was speaking during an emergency meeting of Palestinian officials in Ramallah on Tuesday evening to discuss ways of responding to the Trump plan. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad representatives were invited to participate in the meeting.
In a televised address, Abbas called the plan a “conspiracy,” adding that his people’s rights “are not for sale.”
“I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass,” he said.
Before the meeting, PLO and Fatah officials expressed outrage over Trump’s plan and warned it would have “dangerous consequences” on stability and peace in the Middle East.
The officials expressed hope that the PA leadership would take “fateful and firm” measures in response to the “American-Zionist plot called the Deal of the Century.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the announcement of Trump’s plan “has no value, and it’s not worth the ink it was written with.”
In a first response to the unveiling of the plan, he said: “Palestine will prevail, and Trump and the deal with go to the dustbin of history.”
A statement by several Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, released shortly after the announcement of the plan, read: “No occupier shall remain on our land. Jerusalem will remain the eternal capital of Palestine. It will remain an Arab and Islamic city.”
The PA requested an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers on Saturday to discuss Trump’s plan. Abbas asked that he address the session to explain the Palestinian stance regarding the plan.
Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, who met in Cairo with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and delivered to him the request for the emergency meeting, expressed hope that the Arab states would reject Trump’s proposals and any plan that contradicts the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and United Nations resolutions.
Palestinians took to the streets in several locations across the West Bank and Gaza Strip to protest Trump’s plan. At some of the protests, demonstrators burned effigies and posters of Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Israeli and US flags.
In downtown Ramallah, dozens of Palestinians gathered in the evening at Manara Square, chanting slogans against Trump and Israel. The protesters vowed to foil the “dubious” Trump “plot” and urged Palestinians to launch “popular resistance” activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Similar protests took place on Tuesday evening in Nablus, Jenin and Hebron.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip also demonstrated during the day to protest Trump’s plan. The protests did not attract large numbers of demonstrators.
Tuesday’s protests came in the context of the “day of rage” announced earlier this week by several Palestinian factions in response to the peace plan. The factions said more protests would take place in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the coming days.
Shortly before Trump announced his plan, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh phoned Abbas and offered to work together to foil the deal.
Haniyeh expressed Hamas’s support for Abbas’s opposition to the plan “and all schemes to liquidate the Palestinian cause, first and foremost the ‘Deal of the Century,’” according to a statement released by the PA president’s office.
Haniyeh urged Abbas to lay their aside their differences and stand united against Trump’s plan, the statement said.
Abbas also received a phone call from European Union President Charles Michel and discussed the Trump plan with him. Abbas said he explained to Michel why the Palestinians were opposed to the plan, saying it is in violation of international law.
“Any peace initiative that ignores Palestinian sovereignty over east Jerusalem is unacceptable,” Abbas reportedly told Michel.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Peace Now sent a press release in response to the American "Deal of the Century" in which it said Netanyahu and Trump are showing the world “a charade of trickery and removal from reality.”
The report calls both leaders “corrupt politicians who have taken the peace as a hostage in their get-away plan, peace will not be born out of this.” 
Labor-Gesher-Meretz leader Amir Peretz said that Israelis “will decide our fate on our own in a direct negotiation with the Palestinian Authorities,” he argued that as the Netanyahu administration is facing the March elections it lacks the legitimacy to carry out such historical decisions.
Peretz argued that the American plan must be examined after the March elections.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Sadadi said that only direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians can reach a comprehensive solution and suggested it be based on the Saudi Peace initiative the Arab League suggested in 2002. 
Joint List MK Mtanes Shehadeh called the plan “a disaster” that ignores the Palestinians completely. He warned that it is “a pre-known failure, which might lead to violence being renewed.”
Arab-Israeli MK Ahmad Tibi tweeted that he never attend a rave party, but he was told people there take ecstasy and are detached from reality.
“I think this is what’s going on in the White House,” he said. 
MK Ofer Cassif slammed the Deal of the Century saying it is not a peace plan, “but a war plan.”
Cassif added that all Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal and, using a term from South African history, said they “create Palestinian bantustans.”
Bantustan, a word in Adrikaans which means black homeland, was the idea that some lands in white-ruled south-Africa might be declared as independent and serve as a home for the black population of that country.
The word Bantu also means people in some Bantu languages, which include Swahili, Zulu, and Shona.
The term became a loaded one and while some black-ruled zones were declared as independent it was widely understood to be a hoax, in 1994 when the apartheid system was abolished these zones were again incorporated into South Africa.
Cassif warned that the Trump plan will make “the apartheid in the [Israeli] occupied lands an official part of Israeli law.”