PA says it has thwarted Trump’s peace ‘deal of the century’

Abbas spokesman says proposal not yet dead, warns it would be a regional deal with unpredictable consequences

US President Donald Trump (L) is welcomed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (Thomas Coex/AFP)
US President Donald Trump (L) is welcomed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (Thomas Coex/AFP)

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday asserted it has frustrated the Trump administration’s peace efforts, though it said the “deal of the century” has yet to be sunk altogether.

A spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas claimed the White House peace plan would have regional implications if adopted, such as the undermining of the sovereignty of regional states.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement carried by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that the US-led peace push had been foiled by the “steadfastness” of the Palestinian people and the PA’s commitment to its people, and called for the Palestinians and Arab states to “stick together… to prevent the transformation of the deal of the century” into a regional reality with unpredictable consequences.

He said progress on the yet-to-be-released US peace plan has “slowed down but did not end,” and slammed Washington for its “blatant bias towards Israel and the imbalance of power [created].”

“The region is now at a crossroads to decide the fate of principle issues that affect the interests of its peoples,” Abu Rudeineh said.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. (Flash90)

The Palestinians in recent months have fumed against US President Donald Trump’s peace proposal and accused his envoys of working to topple the PA and permanently separate the West Bank from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which, along with East Jerusalem, the Palestinians envision for a future state.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, hit back at the Palestinian criticism during a visit to Jerusalem last month, saying the PA was “scared” of the US peace plan because the Palestinians would likely welcome what it offers.

Kushner and US envoy Jason Greenblatt did not meet with Abbas or other Palestinian officials during that trip. The PA has boycotted the White House since Trump’s decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, center, Jared Kushner, left, and Jason Greenblatt, listen as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in Palestine, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In his statement, Abu Rudeineh blamed the lack of a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem for the “prevailing chaos” in the region.

“As long as Jerusalem is burning, the Arab world will continue to burn, which is contrary to the necessities of regional security,” he said.

Abu Rudeineh also warned of “sudden repercussions” in the region, such as the “blatant bias” by the US toward Israel.

“These have created heavy burdens that we must all bear and confront in order to reach safety and provide a better future for the region and its peoples,” he said.

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