Palestinians: Donald Trump shows 'disregard for international law'

PLO's Erekat slams GOP presidential contender over remarks made during Netanyahu meeting Sunday about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's united capital.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 26, 2016 16:51
2 minute read.
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the Trump tower

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the Trump tower. (photo credit: KOBI GIDON / GPO)

PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat on Monday condemned Republican White House contender Donald Trump for saying if he is elected, the US will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.

Erekat charged that Trump's remarks - made during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday - show "disregard for international law." The senior PLO official continued, accusing, the GOP presidential candidate of "neglecting" calls for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians.

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"Previous statements delivered by [Trump's] adviser on Israel show a total abandonment of the two-state solution, international law and UN resolutions," Erekat asserted.

Invoking Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's recent speech to the UN General Assembly, Erekat asserted that Trump's stance demonstrated the need for the international efforts toward a two-state solution. Israel rejects the prospect of unilateral resolutions on the conflict and diplomatic processes that do not directly involve both sides. 

On Sunday, Netanyahu met with both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the day before the two were set to face off at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York in the first of the 2016 presidential debates.

Trump hosted the prime minister privately in his gilded Trump Tower apartment on Sunday morning for nearly an hour and a half, where they discussed “at length Israel’s successful experience with a security fence,” which Trump has cited as a model for his proposed US border wall with Mexico, the campaign said.

They also discussed “the nuclear deal with Iran, the battle against ISIS and many other regional security concerns.”

Under a Trump presidency, the United States will “finally accept the longstanding congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” according to his campaign’s description of the meeting, which was closed to the press.

Israeli officials said that Netanyahu thanked Trump for his friendship and support of the Jewish state.

Later Sunday, Clinton told Netanyahu that a "strong and vibrant Israel is vital to the US," according to one of her aides, "because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism."

The former secretary of state gave her backing to the recently signed $38b. military aid package, and pledged to take the bilateral relationship "to the next level," as her Republican rival Donald Trump also did earlier in the day during his sit-down with the prime minister.

Their conversation focused on the nuclear deal with Iran, which Netanyahu opposes and Clinton has endorsed, the campaign said.

Clinton "committed to continue to work closely with Israel to enforce and implement the nuclear deal with Iran," according to a readout of the meeting. She also "reaffirmed her commitment to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties."

Michael Wilner contributed to this report.


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