Fraught with excuses to say ‘no’ to the 3rd American President’s peace offer, the Palestinian leadership warns of ‘serious consequences’ for the region if the “Deal of the Century” is implemented, even though they have yet to learn all it entails.
By Elior Levy
Palestinian lawmakers backed by President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, said Sunday that the day U.S. President Donald Trump presents his Middle East peace plan would be a “Day of Rage” with riots and protests in the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue & White party leader Benny Gantz flew to Washington earlier Sunday for the presentation of what Trump himself has dubbed the “Deal of the Century” – his administration’s outline for peace between Israel and the Palestinians – and talks with the American administration.
Over the past three years, I have spoken countless times with President @realDonaldTrump, a huge friend of Israel, and his staff, about our vital interests, our security, and our justice. I am going to meet with President Trump tomorrow. On Tuesday, with him, we will make history pic.twitter.com/F5BMukHBtD
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) January 26, 2020
“The ‘Deal of the Century’ will not pass without the Palestinian people’s consent,” said Abbas’ office in an official statement.
“The Palestinian leadership, with support of the people, will hamper all attempts to bring to an [unsatisfactory] end the Palestinian issue, as has done numerous times in the past,” the statement said.
“The Palestinian leadership will conduct a series of meetings with officials and will announce its determined refusal to any concessions regarding Jerusalem,” the statement said, referring to leaked details of the plan, which apparently hands sovereignty over the whole of the city to Israel, despite a Palestinian demand to have the capital of a future state in East Jerusalem.
“All possibilities are looked into, among them the fate of the Palestinian Authority,” the statement said.
“Every decision will receive Arab and International support.”
The statement warned of “serious consequences” for the whole region if the peace plan harms the Palestinian people’s “sovereignty or identity.”
“The announcement of the plan is nothing but an attempt to help Netanyahu and Trump in their personal crises at the expense of the Palestinians,” the statement said, referring to the legal woes of the two leaders.
“We call upon our people to rally around its leadership in this harsh historical reality.”
According to details of the Trump outline published on Sunday, the peace plan states that during a four-year transition period, the status of all territories under the Israeli-ruled Area C of the West Bank will remain unchanged.
According to the leaked details, the plan allows Israel to annex 30% to 40% of Area C, while the Palestinians will have control over about 40% of Areas A and B.
Under the terms of the 1994 Oslo Accords, Area C is under full Israeli security and civilian control, Area B is under Israeli security and Palestinian civilian rule and Area A is under full Palestinian security and civilian control.
At the end of the four-year transition period, the Palestinians will be able to declare an independent state, but with limited powers. It will be completely demilitarized, have no control over its aerial space or border crossings and be unable to form alliances with other countries.
Also Sunday, Joint List party head Ayman Odeh described the peace plan as an “annexation plan.”
“Why do you think it was announced at this time?” said Odeh. “It’s simply because Trump wants to help Netanyahu [in the March 2 elections in Israel].
“This is what happens when one corrupt politician wants to help another corrupt politician. The real deal is between Trump and Netanyahu. Peace should be between two peoples and not two crooks.”
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‘as a light unto the nations’