Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas sharply criticized Donald Trump, saying the Palestinian Authority (PA) will never accept the US president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The PA president made his comments on Sunday at the start of a two-day central council meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Ramallah.
“Politically, Jerusalem is our capital; in our religion, it is our capital; geographically, it is our capital,” said Abbas.
“But it was removed from the map with a tweet from Mr Trump,” he added.
“Now we say ‘No’ to Trump, we won’t accept his plan – we say the ‘deal of the century’ is the slap of the century,” noted Abbas, referring to the US president’s pledge to achieve the “ultimate deal” – peace in the Middle East.
The Palestinian leader also said that Israel had “ended” the Oslo peace accords of the 1990s with its actions, and also called the US ambassadors to the UN and to Israel – Nikki Haley and David Friedman – a “disgrace”.
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Abbas had previously said the US could no longer play any role in the Middle East peace process following Trump’s move.
The PLO meeting in Ramallah is supposed to lay out the Palestinian strategy to confront the US in the wake of its Jerusalem decision.
Excerpts of Abbas’s Speech:
“Today is the day that the Oslo Accords end. Israel killed them. We are an authority without any authority, and an occupation without any cost. Trump threatens to cut funding to the authority because negotiations have failed. When the hell did negotiations start?!”
“Any future negotiations will take place only within the context of the international community, by an international committee created in the framework of an international conference. Allow me to be clear: We will not accept America leadership of a political process involving negotiations.
“U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is a settler who is opposed to the term occupation. He is an offensive human being, and I will not agree to meet with him anywhere. They requested that I meet him and I refused, not in Jerusalem, not in Amman, not in Washington. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley too, she threatens to hit people who hurt Israel with the heel of her shoe, and we’ll respond in the same way.”
“The Arab League’s foreign minister accused the Palestinians of not protesting sufficiently against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”
“We are a people who went out for non-violent protests following Trump’s recognition [of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital], and the result was 20 dead, more than 5000 wounded, and over 1000 arrested, and they have the gall to say that the Palestinian people didn’t go out into the streets.. I say to the minister, that if he really wants to help the Palestinian people, support us, and give us a real hand. If not, you can all go to hell.”
“We continue to demand an apology from the British for the Balfour Declaration, and we will continue to demand their recognition of a Palestinian state. Herzl’s phrase ‘a land without a people for a people without a land’ was made up. He arrived here and saw a people, and for that reason, spoke of the need to get rid of the Palestinians.”
“At Camp David, they attempted a preposterous exercise. They told the Americans that we were ready to give up the right of return, 13 percent of the West Bank, and provide a Jewish prayer space at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
“Our stance is a Palestinian State in the ’67 borders with a capital in East Jerusalem and the implementation of decisions by the international community, as well as a just solution for refugees.”
“We are for the national struggle, which is more effective because there is no one else we can rely on.”
“The Americans asked us not to join the 22 organizations including the International Criminal Court. We told them that we wouldn’t join, as long as they don’t close the PLO offices in Washington, don’t move their embassy to Jerusalem, and freeze building in the settlements. They didn’t agree, and as such, we’re not obligated to any agreements. We will join those organizations.”
“We accepted 86 decisions in the UN Security Council for the Palestinians, and none of them were implemented. Another 46 were vetoed by the Americans.”
“Israel has imported frightening amounts of drugs in order to destroy our younger generation. We must be careful, and for this reason we created an authority for fighting drugs, and are investing a lot in sport, mostly in soccer. We already passed Israel in FIFA.”
“We will publish a blacklist of 150 companies who work with the settlements, and will publish the names of dozens of people suspected of bribery to INTERPOL.”
“Prisoners and their family members are our sons, and we will continue to give them stipends.”
“The families of Palestinians killed have the right to turn to the International Criminal Court and to demand justice from the international community.”
“We won’t accept what the U.S. tries to impose upon us, and we won’t accept them as a mediator.”
“We will not be an authority without authority, and an occupation without a cost.”
“We will defend our achievements in the international community and locally, and we will continue to fight against terror, and struggle non-violently. We will join all political processes, led by the international community, toward the end of the occupation.”
(Aljazeera, Haaretz, PC, Social Media)