Palestinian Authority slams Trump, says his team can't make peace

Palestinians: ‘US envoys support Judaization of Jerusalem.'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during a ceremony marking the 54th anniversary of Fatah's founding, in Ramallah, December 31, 2018 (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during a ceremony marking the 54th anniversary of Fatah's founding, in Ramallah, December 31, 2018
The US administration has not learned the lesson of the failure of last week’s economic workshop in Bahrain, the PA said on Saturday.
Commenting on statements made by US President Donald Trump at the conclusion of the G20 summit in Japan, Palestinian Authority presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh again accused the US administration of “bias” in favor of Israel.
Trump said on Saturday that if an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal cannot be reached under his presidency then there will never be any such agreement.
“With me being president, if you don’t get that deal done it will never happen,” he told reporters. “I know [the Palestinians] want to make a deal, but they want to be a little cute and that’s okay. I fully understand where they’re coming from.”
Abu Rudaineh said in response that Trump’s statements were “discouraging and indicate that the US administration has not learned the lesson of the failure” of the Bahrain workshop.
“The failure of the Bahrain workshop, despite the policy of punishment and intimidation employed by the Trump administration, constitutes a clear message to Trump and his administration that the policy of dictates and threats is no longer effective,” he added.
Abu Rudaineh said Trump was “depending on a team that is totally biased in favor of Israel and can’t offer solutions that would lead to a lasting and just peace.”
Emphasizing the Palestinian leadership’s commitment to a just and lasting peace, Abu Rudaineh said that Palestinian rights “can’t be sold or bought.” He added that “no one in the world can force the Palestinians to give up their rights regardless of the challenges and temptations.”
The PA Foreign Ministry strongly condemned plans by US Ambassador David Friedman and US special envoy Jason Greenblatt to attend the inaugural ceremony of the discovery of “Pilgrim’s Road” in Jerusalem’s Old City. The expected presence of the American officials at the event will be the first time the US will recognize Israeli sovereignty within areas of the Old City Basin.
The PA ministry said their participation underscores the US administration’s support for the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.
“This is a new image of American aggression,” the ministry said. “The American presence [in the ceremony] and celebrating Judaization activities in occupied east Jerusalem are an act of hostility against the Palestinians.”
Greenblatt responded to the claims on Twitter, saying that the PA should recognize history and archaeology and "stop pretending it isn't true."

In 2004, a sewage pipe burst in the middle of the neighborhood of Silwan in southeast Jerusalem. The municipality sent in a crew of construction workers to fix the leak and, as is the case in Jerusalem and especially in neighborhoods adjacent to the Old City, they were accompanied by a team of archaeologists.
As the repairs progressed, the construction workers stumbled upon some long and wide stairs a few dozen meters from where Shiloah was believed to have once stood. The ancient pool was where Jewish pilgrims would immerse before beginning the religious ascent to the Temple, until its destruction in 70 CE. The steps were just like the ones that lead to the Hulda Gates, a set of now blocked entrances along the Temple Mount’s southern wall.
Discovery of the Shiloah pool led to another monumental find – the central water drainage channel that had served ancient Jerusalem. This channel is the tunnel that visitors to the City of David – known as Ir David – get to walk through today, starting at the bottom of Shiloah and emerging about 45 minutes later next to the Western Wall.
The ancient street is referred to as “Pilgrimage Road,” since archaeologists are convinced that this is the path millions of Jews took three times a year when performing the commandment of aliyah l’regel – going up to the holy city of Jerusalem to bring sacrifices to God during three of Judaism’s key holidays: Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.
“The City of David brings truth and science to a debate that has been marred for too long by myths and deceptions,” Friedman told Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz. “Its findings, in most cases by secular archaeologists, bring an end to the baseless efforts to deny the historical fact of Jerusalem’s ancient connection to the Jewish people.”
The Post asked Friedman why the discovery of Pilgrimage Road was important for the US government.
“There has been enormous support for the City of David by the American public,” Friedman said. “This is yet another example – and a great one – of the recognition of the Judeo-Christian values upon which both nations were founded.” Pilgrimage Road, Friedman said, is “stunning and tangible evidence” of Jewish prayer during the time of the Second Temple.
“It brings to life the historical truth of that momentous period in Jewish history,” he added. “Peace between Israel and the Palestinians must be based upon a foundation of truth. The City of David advances our collective goal of pursuing a truth-based resolution. It is important for all sides of the conflict.”
The Post asked Friedman what would happen if a peace deal were to be concluded one day between Israel and the Palestinians. Is it possible that the Jewish state would be asked to give up Ir David or Silwan?
“I do not believe that Israel would ever consider such a thought,” he said. “The City of David is an essential component of the national heritage of the State of Israel. It would be akin to America returning the Statue of Liberty.”