Jerusalem embassy: Abbas says Trump plan ‘slap of the century’

Middle East

Middle East

Jerusalem embassy: Abbas says Trump plan ‘slap of the century’

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Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Mr Abbas (centre) spoke for two hours

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has described US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace efforts as the “slap of the century”.At a meeting of Palestinian leaders, he stressed he would not accept any peace plan from the US after it recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He also accused Israel itself of putting an end to the Oslo Accords, which began the peace process in 1995.Mr Trump has threatened to cut aid if the Palestinians reject peace talks. Speaking earlier this month, Mr Trump insisted recognition of Jerusalem took the hugely divisive issue “off the table” for new peace talks.Palestinians argue the move shows the US cannot be a neutral broker.What did Mr Abbas tell the meeting?Palestinian leaders are meeting for two days in Ramallah to come up with a concrete Palestinian response to Mr Trump’s move.Mr Abbas had already rejected Mr Trump’s proposals last month, after the UN General Assembly voted to express regret at US recognition of Jerusalem.Speaking to Palestinian faction leaders in Ramallah on Sunday, he said: “The deal of the century is the slap of the century and we will not accept it.””I am saying that Oslo, there is no Oslo,” he added. “Israel ended Oslo.”Did he say anything new?Washington has for the past few months been drafting a new peace plan, though it has not divulged any details.On Sunday, Mr Abbas suggested Palestinians were being offered the village of Abu Dis, outside Jerusalem, as the capital of a future Palestinian state.”What would you want, if Jerusalem were to be lost?” he asked rhetorically, according to the Jerusalem Post. “Would you want to make a state with Abu Dis as its capital?”Ismail Haniya, leader of the Palestinian group Hamas, said last month that he had received information that the village was being mooted by the US as a future Palestinian capital. Hamas was invited to the meeting in Ramallah but declined to take part.Why is the status of Jerusalem so crucial to the peace process?The city is one of the world’s most contested sites.
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Media captionWhy the city of Jerusalem mattersIsrael claims the whole of the city as its capital. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. Mr Trump, however, decided to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite being warned it could cause unrest in the region.He also said he would move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, where all other nations have their diplomatic missions.

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