Erekat denies US charges of Palestinian incitement, blames Trump plan
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Erekat denies US charges of Palestinian incitement, blames Trump plan

Palestinian official says White House bears blame for recent uptick in violence with its plan for ‘annexation and apartheid,’ after Kushner said Abbas is responsible

Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat speaks at the J Street National Conference,  in Washington, October 28, 2019. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat speaks at the J Street National Conference, in Washington, October 28, 2019. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

A Palestinian official on Friday rejected US allegations of incitement for the recent spike in violence in Israel and the West Bank.

Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat instead linked the violence to US President Donald Trump’s Mideast initiative, which heavily favors Israel on all the most contentious issues of the conflict and would allow it to annex large parts of the West Bank.

“Those who introduce plans for annexation and apartheid and the legalization of occupation and settlements are the ones who bear full responsibility for deepening the cycle of violence and extremism,” Erekat said in a statement.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the architect of the US peace plan for the Middle East, on Thursday blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for a recent spike in violence in Israel and the West Bank.

Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to President Donald Trump, stands for a television interview on FOX News outside the White House on January 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

“He does have a responsibility for it,” Kushner told reporters after briefing UN Security Council members on the plan that has been rejected by the Palestinians.

“He calls for days of rage in response and he said that even before he saw the plan,” Kushner added.

Three Palestinian attacks on Israeli soldiers and police officers took place within 12 hours on Thursday, leaving 14 service members wounded.

Two members of the Palestinian security services were also killed, at least one who was apparently mistaken for a terrorist by an Israeli sniper, as violence soared amid Palestinian anger at the US administration’s peace plan announced last week.

Rescuers at the scene of an attack near the Lions Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City in which a police officer was lightly injured and the assailant was killed, February 6, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Palestinian leaders said the violence was an inevitable result of the plan’s pro-Israel bias, while Israeli officials accused the Palestinian Authority of encouraging the attacks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a direct appeal to Abbas: “This won’t help you. Not the stabbings, not the ramming attacks, not the sniping attacks, and not the incitement… We will do everything necessary to guard our security, secure our borders, and guarantee our future. We will do this with you or without you.”

Kushner said Abbas had “rejected the plan before he even saw it.”

“I think that he was surprised with how good the plan was for the Palestinian people but he locked himself into a position before it came out and I don’t know why he did that,” he added.

“There is a long history of the Palestinian leadership paying the families of terrorists, inciting intifadas (uprisings) when they don’t get their way,” said Kushner.

“I just think the international community has grown very tired of that behavior,” he added.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks after a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Kushner presented the plan to Security Council members at a private lunch Thursday hosted by the US Mission to the United Nations.

Kushner described the two-hour-long talks with the Council’s 14 other members as “very constructive.”

His briefing came as Palestinian supporters circulated a draft UN resolution that would reject the plan, saying it violates international law and Security Council demands for a two-state solution based on borders before the 1967 Six Day War.

The resolution could be put to a vote on Feb. 11 when Abbas is expected to address the Security Council and deliver his government’s objections to the Israeli-backed US peace plan. If a vote is held, the resolution is virtually certain to be vetoed by the United States.

The US plan, unveiled by Trump on Jan. 28, envisions a disjointed Palestinian state that turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel, siding with Israel on key contentious issues including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements.

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