The Palestinians are rejecting any and all peace plans with Israel proposed by the United States following the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The absolute refusal to accept American mediation in the peace process was made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last Friday in Paris, even though US President Donald Trump made it clear he was recognizing the reality that Jerusalem is and will be Israel’s capital and was not prejudging borders in a potential Israel-Palestinian deal.
“The US has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan put forward by the US due to its bias,” Abbas was quoted by the official WAFA Palestinian news agency as saying in a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas’ statement shows the Palestinian leader to be a rejectionist.
“He declared that he is quitting the process and, in effect, is not interested in any proposal that the US might submit,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office on Sunday. “I think that once again it is becoming clear: It is the Palestinians who do not want to resolve this conflict.”
Meanwhile, a member of the executive committee of Abbas’ political faction—Fatah, which leads the West Bank government—told Voice of Palestine they would review the peace process and may suspend relations with Israel, according to a separate report by WAFA.
The Palestinians maintain important security coordination with the Israelis to combat terrorism, so a suspension of ties could be a terror risk.
Abbas did say in the WAFA report that he was willing to enter peace negotiations with Israel, as long as the Israelis capitulate to the Palestinian demands on borders.
The Palestinians claim the Biblical heartland in Judea and Samaria—also known as the West Bank—as well as Gaza and the Biblical city of Jerusalem. Together, that was territory held by Jordan and Egypt prior to the 1967 war with Israel and is sometimes known as the 1967 lines. WAFA reported that Abbas said he would negotiate on the basis of those boundary lines.
In his comments, Netanyahu pointed out that the Americans have acknowledged the real reason for the lack of peace in the region, and it’s not Israel.
“The US has said something else that is very important: The root of the general conflict in the Middle East does not lie in Israel, but in Iran and in radical Islam and the terrorism that it inspires,” said Netanyahu. “All of these are the true reasons that have been revealed to everyone. Whoever sees clearly and has integrity cannot deny them.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 24, 2017