Having deemed President Trump as ‘pro-Israel’, Palestinian officials parrot Abbas, dismissing all assurances of gaining something “very good”, should they stop rejecting out of hand all calls to return to the negotiating table.
Palestinian leaders rejected apparent overtures by US President Donald Trump on Wednesday after he said they would get something “very good” in exchange for his country recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The December decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy to the city sparked fury among Palestinians, with the political leadership cutting off ties to the US administration.
The White House’s effort to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process appears to have stalled, and in interviews with i24NEWS Palestinian leaders scoffed at recent attempts to focus largely on economic growth at the expense of the most prickly political and religious subjects.
Senior Palestinian official Ahmad al-Tamimi said the US president’s assertion that he had removed the issue of Jerusalem from future negotiations was “a continuation of the US policies in favor of Israel”.
Speaking to official Palestinian news agency WAFA, he added that Trump’s push for a Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was impossible without “recognizing east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.”
Palestinians see the eastern part of the disputed city as the capital of their future state.
Speaking to supporters in the United States on Tuesday, Trump again defended the move, saying he had eased future negotiations.
“If there’s ever going to be peace — remember I said it — with the Palestinians, it was a good thing to have done because we took it off the table, because every time there were peace talks they never got past Jerusalem,” Trump said at a rally in West Virginia.
“And you know what, in the (future) negotiations Israel will have to pay a higher price because they won a very big thing.”
“Now (Jerusalem’s) off the table, there is nothing to negotiate. But they (the Palestinians) will get something very good because it’s their turn next.”
The move has greatly complicated efforts by Trump’s administration to broker what he has called the “ultimate deal,” as the Palestinians will no longer accept US mediation.
Speaking in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said he hoped the Palestinian leadership would move on from the embassy issue.
“As a dealmaker, as a bargainer, he would expect, you would expect, I would expect that the Palestinians would say ‘okay, great, so we didn’t get that one, now we want something else, and we’ll see how it goes’,” Bolton told journalists as he wrapped up a three-day visit to Israel.
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, rejected Bolton’s comments and said east Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state.
“The words of Bolton are nonsense and don’t correspond to reality,” Erekat said in a statement.
“You cannot talk about peace without Jerusalem being the capital of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders.”
- Hamas reiterates it will not make peace, will torpedo Trump’s Peace Initiative
- Senior PLO official boasts: We torpedoed Trump’s peace “Deal of the century”
- US envoy outs hateful Palestinian negotiator for wasting 40 years in
The status of Jerusalem is among the most contentious in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Washington maintains, however, that the embassy move has not prejudged any final status negotiations over the city.
Meanwhile on Thursday, Israeli authorities advanced the approval process of some 1,000 housing units in Jewish West Bank settlements.
Trump has previously told Israeli Prime Minister Benjmian Netanyahu that if negotiations with the Palestinians ever happened Israel would have to capitulate on other demands.
“You won one point, and you’ll give up some other points later on in the negotiation — if it ever takes place,” he said.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has also previously acknowledged that the US embassy move would “come at a price”, but insists it was a price “worth paying.”
“Nothing comes for free,” Liberman said in a May interview with Hadashot news, “We should be prepared to pay a price.”
(Staff with AFP)
View original i24NEWS publication at: