Palestinian leader warns UN on Trump’s ‘Swiss cheese’ peace

Friday, 14 Feb, 2020

The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday rejected the peace plan that was recently unveiled by the United States administration. He is opposed to terror.

ISRAEL'S former prime minister Ehud Olmert yesterday called Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas a partner for peace, defiantly rejecting efforts by Benjamin Netanyahu's government to sideline the veteran leader.

The Palestinian leadership has enjoyed the backing of the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and, most recently, the African Union, which have all rejected the Trump plan.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, briefs Security Council members.

The proposition was made without the input of Palestinians, who broke off ties with the Trump administration after it controversially identified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in late 2017.

"We must not strengthen the hand of those who reward terrorism and violence against our people", Danon wrote.

The Palestinians have sought to rally global support against the plan, which Trump unveiled alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has since moved forward on plans to annex vast parts of the West Bank.

He called on the Security Council to be more involved in addressing the Palestinian struggle.

"The U.S. can not be the sole mediator", he said.

Yachad, Jewish Labour Movement and Habonim Dror joined the United Kingdom branches of organisations such as New Israel Fund, Meretz and Rabbis for Human Rights to oppose the deal, which would lead to Israeli sovereignty over settlements.

"Who among you would accept such a state?" he asked the UN Security Council.

"My fervent hope is that after today's rhetoric clears, Palestinian leaders will see this plan for the opportunity it is, roll up their sleeves, and seize this chance to sit down with the leaders of Israel to begin a new conversation", Craft stated.

The Palestinians had originally sought to have the 15-nation council vote on a draft resolution reaffirming worldwide parameters to resolve the decades-old conflict and calling for a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders.

Another issue said to seriously hamper the peace process is Israel's refusal to recognize the Palestinian National Authority as a sovereign nation.

He expressed hope that Abbas and other Palestinian officials "will not ignore" the US commitment for a two-state solution and will work "to establish the necessary framework for negotiations that will promote it". "I'm fully ready to resume negotiations where we left off" in 2008, with the involvement of the Quartet - the United Nations, the USA, the European Union and Russian Federation - on the basis of the 1967 borders, he said.

Under the plan, Trump said the Palestinians will "double" their land, but must give up about one-third of the West Bank to Israel for it to have an eastern border.

Addressing the 15-member council and United Nations chief Antonio Guterres through a translator, Abbas said Trump's proposal "legitimizes what is illegal", including Israel's "annexation of Palestinian land".

"I would like to reaffirm that this plan, or any part in this plan, should not be considered as an worldwide reference for negotiations", he said.

Abbas said he is ready to start negotiations under the sponsorship of the Quartet and based on internationally agreed parameters. "We also call for the implementation of the Arab peace initiative".

"We're optimistic that countries are keeping an open mind with regard to our Vision for Peace, and are willing to have an honest and open discussion on it as a possible basis to restart negotiations for a realistic two-state solution", the official added.

But on Tuesday thousands of Palestinians packed into Manara Square in the West Bank city of Ramallah to vent their anger at the Trump plan and express support for Abbas.