Palestinians fear some Arabs might accept Trump's plan

Abbas is scheduled to hold a series of "emergency meetings" to discuss the repercussions of Trump's plan and ways of "rallying Arab support for the Palestinian position."

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY President Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: OSMAN ORSAL/REUTERS)
(photo credit: OSMAN ORSAL/REUTERS)
Palestinians on Monday expressed concern that some Arab states may accept US President Donald Trump’s upcoming plan for Mideast peace, notwithstanding strong Palestinian opposition to the deal.
Palestinian officials in Ramallah said they were already worried by the failure of some Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and other Gulf emirates, to “fully endorse” the Palestinian stance against Trump’s plan. The response of these Arab countries to Trump’s previous policies and decisions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they noted, has not risen to the level of Palestinian expectations.
The officials said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to hold a series of “emergency meetings” of PLO and Fatah leaders in the coming days, including one Tuesday evening, to discuss the repercussions of Trump’s plan and ways of “rallying Arab support for the Palestinian position.”
“There’s growing fear in Ramallah that countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt are not opposed to Trump’s plan,” a Palestinian official told The Jerusalem Post. “The Palestinians are worried that some of the Arab leaders will leave them to face the Trump administration on their own.”
Another official told the Post that Palestinians planning to protest Trump’s plan in the coming days are also expected to condemn Arab states and leaders for being “in collusion” with the Trump administration.
“I won’t be surprised if we see Palestinians chanting slogans against Saudi Arabia and Egypt,” the official said. “Many here are unhappy with the close relations between Trump and some Arab leaders.”
Palestinian protests against Trump’s peace plan, also known as the “Deal of the Century,” will begin immediately after the plan is announced on Tuesday, several Palestinian factions said Monday. They said that in context of the protests, which are expected to last for several days, Palestinians will hold general strikes and rallies in the West bank and Gaza Strip in order to voice their strong opposition to the plan.
On Sunday, the factions called for a “day of rage” to coincide with Trump’s announcement of his long-awaited peace plan.
As part of the protests, Palestinians are planning to hold a major rally in the northern part of the Jordan Valley on Wednesday to express their opposition to calls for applying Israeli law to the area.
The rally will coincide with demonstrations in various parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to protest Trump’s plan. Some Palestinian factions also called for mass protests after Friday prayers in mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Palestinian officials and spokesmen again warned on Monday that Trump’s plan could trigger a “new intifada.”
The officials confirmed reports to the effect that Abbas refused to accept a phone call from Trump, who wanted to inform him of his decision to release the peace plan.
Abbas has been boycotting the US administration since December 2017 when Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The officials also warned that the PA security forces would not be able to prevent the situation in the West Bank from deteriorating into violent clashes between Palestinians and the IDF.
“The situation is very tense,” one official told the Post. “The assessment here is that it might be headed toward another cycle of violence.”
A senior Abbas adviser accused the Trump administration and the Israeli government of “emboldening Hamas and extremist Palestinian groups at the expense of the Palestinian Authority.”
“What is happening in Washington between the Israelis and Trump is a big gift to Hamas and [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad,” the adviser told the Post. “The Trump administration and Netanyahu are weakening the Palestinian Authority leadership and making it lose its credibility among Palestinians.”
According to the Abbas adviser, the PA has received information that radical Palestinian groups are planning to exploit the upcoming protests against Trump’s plan to call for violent attacks against Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.
PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and other Ramallah-based officials said that the Palestinians were determined to thwart Trump’s “conspiracy.” Hamas and several Gaza-based groups have also pledged to foil the plan on the pretext it’s aimed at “liquidating the Palestinian cause.”
Shtayyeh said in opening remarks at the weekly meeting of the PA cabinet in Ramallah that the US has lost its credibility to act as an honest broker for a true political process between Palestinians and Israel. Trump’s plan, he said, “is a tool to fulfill the wishes of the occupying state headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and does not constitute a basis for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
Shtayyeh further said that the plan “is intended to protect Trump from impeachment and Netanyahu from prison on corruption charges. This is not a plan for peace in the Middle East, but rather a plan to safeguard its sponsors.”