Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman warned Israel and the United States on Thursday not to cross any “red lines,” following a flurry of reports in Hebrew media about the Trump administration’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a statement, the spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, affirmed that the Palestinians support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Channel 12, citing unnamed Israeli sources, reported earlier Thursday that the US administration’s plan calls for Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and 100-plus settlements and the establishment of a Palestinian state on condition that the Hamas terror group gives up its weapons and the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Jerusalem as its capital.
The channel also reported that the US plan would grant Israel full security control in the Jordan Valley, and provide for some minor land swaps and a possible absorption of some Palestinian refugees in Israel; it also said if Israel accepts the plan and the Palestinians reject it, Israel would have US support to begin annexing settlements unilaterally.
“If the announcement of this deal, with these unacceptable formulas, is made, the leadership will announce a series of measures to preserve our legitimate rights, and we will call on Israel to assume its responsibilities as an occupying power,” Abu Rudeineh said in the statement, carried by the official PA news site Wafa, without stating whether he was referring explicitly to the Channel 12 report.
The Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership has previously threatened to dissolve the PA and transfer responsibility for the Palestinians to Israel, but it has yet to take major steps in that direction.
The spokesman added: “We warn Israel and the American administration to not cross the red lines.”
US Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chief Benny Gantz accepted an invitation to come to the White House next week to discuss “prospects for peace here in the holy land.”
He made the remarks to the press following a meeting with Netanyahu and made no mention of the US inviting Palestinian officials.
Later on Thursday, US President Donald Trump appeared to cast doubt on the reports in Hebrew media about the administration’s plan.
“Reports about details and timing of our closely-held peace plan are purely speculative,” he tweeted.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassim said that “any deal or project that does not contain our people’s full rights in our land and holy sites will not stand.
“All the attempts to make this deal come to pass will be squashed by our people’s resistance and steadfastness,” he said in a tweet. “Our Palestinian people will determine its fate by way of its ongoing revolution, legitimate struggle and absolute belief in the justness of its cause.”
Since late 2017, the Trump administration has made several moves seen as marginalizing the Palestinians: recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US embassy in the Jewish state from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians and the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, and closing the PLO representative office in Washington.