Palestinians to 'Slap Back' for Trump Jerusalem Move, Abbas Says

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during
Author

16 January, 2018

Last December, Palestinian President Abbas announced a meeting of the PLO Central Council to discuss steps to be taken against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"We are committed to resolving the two states on the basis of global legitimacy, the Arab peace initiative, and the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders", he said.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas blasted Trump for his handling of Mideast peace efforts. "We will slap back", he said.

"The deal of the century is the slap of the century and we will not accept it", he added, referring to Trump's pledge to reach the "ultimate deal" - Israeli-Palestinian peace.

"We do not accept the United States as a mediator between us and Israel", Abbas said. "There is nothing more important than Jerusalem".

"Shame on you", Abbas said in a message directed at Trump.

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Abbas did not mention recognition but said the Oslo accords that led to the creation of his Palestinian Authority and envisioned a final resolution to the conflict were in effect finished.

A decision is expected by Monday, a person said.

Trump's decision to determine Jerusalem as Israel's capital upended decades of USA foreign policy in the region and provoked violent protests across the world.

The West Bank conference opened a day after Israel bombed a cross-border tunnel in the Gaza Strip that it said was meant for attacks by members of the militant Hamas organization that runs the territory.

On Tuesday the Swedish ambassador to the United Nations, Olof Skoog, said he was concerned that a withdrawal of funding for UNRWA "would be very negative both in terms of humanitarian needs of over 5 million people but also of course it would be destabilizing for the region".

Hamas signed an agreement a year ago to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority, but the pact has not been implemented as gaps remain over issues that include Abbas's demand that the group's militia surrender its weapons.


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