Senior Palestinian Official: US ‘Working Hard’ to Topple PA

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat. (Photo: Al Jazeera Screen Capture)

A senior Palestinian negotiator has accused the United States of trying to topple the government of President Mahmoud Abbas, insisting that Washington has disqualified itself from any possible role in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Saeb Erekat’s comments on Sunday came after Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and White House envoy Jason Greenblatt held meetings with the leaders of Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia during a weeklong trip around the Middle East.

In a rare interview published in the Arabic language al-Quds newspaper on Sunday, Kushner said the US administration will soon present its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, with or without input from Abbas while also questioning the Palestinian Authority president’s ability to make a deal.

Kushner added that the Palestinian leadership is “scared” that the Palestinian public may approve of the US peace initiative and called on Palestinians to not “let your leadership reject a plan they haven’t even seen”.

Erekat told reporters in Ramallah:

“Mr Kushner’s interview further clarified that the United States administration of President Trump has actually moved from the squares of negotiations to the squares of dictations. They are determined to dictate a solution.”

He added:

“They are working and trying to work hard in a regime change because Palestinian leadership under the leadership of President Abbas wants genuine, lasting, comprehensive peace, based on international law.”

Abbas cut communications with the Trump administration after it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.

The Palestinian leadership see East Jerusalem as their future capital, insisting the status of the disputed city is an issue to be negotiated between them and the Israelis.

While the details of the so-called “deal of the century” have not officially been released, leaks have suggested that the Palestinians would initially control the Gaza Strip and less than half of the occupied West Bank, while a Palestinian capital would be created from villages surrounding Jerusalem.

The Israelis would retain security control over the Jordan valley and have total control over Palestinian travel between the West Bank and Gaza, while a corridor will be created between Palestinian territory and Jerusalem’s holy sites.

It appears meanwhile that Palestinians would have to surrender the principle of the right of return of Palestinian refugees expelled during the creation of Israel, while the future of illegal Israeli settlements and the final border between Palestine and Israel would be decided at a later date.

(AJE, PC, Social Media)

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