by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 | Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and his fresh-faced government, put together by his new prime minister and longtime friend, Mohammad Shtayyeh, are looking to the international community—particularly Russia—to preemptively counteract US President Trump’s still undisclosed Middle East peace plan.
The release of Trump’s proposal has been delayed multiple times. Palestinians are working to get ahead of the latest delay, with the leaders of the PA’s new government pushing for a meeting between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be held in Russia, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told Russian news site Sputnik. Abbas, who has been boycotting the US government since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, has already rejected the undisclosed peace plan.
The Israeli prime minister’s office didn’t say whether Netanyahu would attend the meeting with Abbas in Moscow, the Times of Israel reported.
Maliki told Sputnik that “Abbas is ready to meet Netanyahu without preconditions, if Moscow hosts this meeting,” according to the Times.
Those supposedly unrequired preconditions, however, come with a few conditions. The main one being, Maliki said in his Sputnik interview, that the Palestinians will reject a peace plan that “does not acknowledge the State of Palestine’s independence”—in other words, an independent sovereign state.
Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, also told Israeli journalists that even though Trump’s peace plan hasn’t been published yet, “What we have seen from this plan is not acceptable at all. The issue of Jerusalem, the issue of the refugees, the issue of the settlements is not on the table…Unless these issues are on the table, nothing will be accepted and we will never accept the Americans alone anymore.”
Shtayyeh, who studied economics in Great Britain and is expected to take on the PA’s severe financial dilemma, berated the United States for its “financial war” on the Palestinians and declared Trump’s peace plan will be “born dead,” the Times of Israel reported.
“There are no partners in Palestine for Trump,” the prime minister asserted in front of a group of international reporters. “There are no Arab partners for Trump, and there are no European partners for Trump.”
The new PA government was not selected by democratic elections but was pieced together by Shtayyeh, a Fatah (leading PA political party) member. The newly sworn in members do not include Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip and Fatah’s main rival for control of the Palestinian people. Maliki, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is allied with Hamas, is one of the few exceptions. This will further polarize the two factions, who have been at odds since Hamas violently overthrew PA control in Gaza in 2007.
Posted on April 17, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 17, 2019)
Photo Credit: Kremlin.ru/wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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