Jerusalem Issue: Mahmoud Abbas to Reject Any US Peace Plan with Israel
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has announced he will not accept any US plan for peace with Israel, after it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
President Abbas’ comments came after a UN General Assembly vote effectively repudiated President Donald Trump’s controversial declaration.
The US has for the past few months been drafting a new peace plan, though it has not divulged any details.
Meanwhile, two Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli troops amid fresh protests over Jerusalem’s status.
The men, both in their 20s, were shot dead in the east of the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israel said it was investigating.
There have been violent confrontations on the border between Israel and Gaza, as well as across the occupied West Bank, for the past three Fridays.
Palestinians clashed with troops in places including Bethlehem as the city, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, prepared for Christmas.
Jerusalem Issue: UN Resolution Rejects Donald Trump’s Declaration
Jerusalem Issue: Donald Trump Threatens to Cut Financial Aid to UN Resolution Supporters
Mahmoud Abbas reiterated that he no longer accepted the US as a mediator in the peace process with Israel. He also rebuffed a new US framework for peace being developed by President Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jared Kushner, before it has been launched.
The Palestinian leader told a news conference in Paris: “The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from the United States.”
While the details of the US plan are not known, it has been devised for months and there has been an expectation it will be publicly launched in early 2018.
The last round of US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed amid acrimony in April 2014.
Mahmoud Abbas has been emboldened by the outcome of the vote at the UN, which rejected any changes to the status of Jerusalem.
Yesterday’s vote came three days after the US used its power of veto to block a similar resolution at the world body’s smaller, but more powerful, Security Council.
The US had warned countries not to support the latest resolution, threatening to cut off financial aid anyone who backed it.
However, the UN resolution still passed with a decisive majority, as most nations, including the US’ allies, voted in its favor.