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Palestinian Official: With State, E. Jerusalem as Capital, Peace Achievable in ‘2 Weeks’

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said at a meeting with Israeli journalists in Ramallah on Sunday that the PA would be ready to sign a peace agreement within two weeks if Israel allowed the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. “We are dealing with [an Israeli] government that destroys any opportunity for peace, and the American government is pushing Israel and the Palestinians into a permanent conflict,” he said. After US President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Mideast peace plan late last month, Abbas threatened to stop security coordination with Israel. Nevertheless, Abu Rudeineh said, “the security coordination with Israel continues normally because we want to confirm that we are fighting terrorism, but this will not last forever.” He added: “The conflict will not be resolved through a deal presented by the Americans, but through negotiations. … We are facing a turning point: Will Tel Aviv choose peace or the ongoing conflict? Our president wants peace but it is difficult to find a leader ready to sign [onto] the American conditions.” The Trump plan calls for the establishment of a demilitarized and highly circumscribed Palestinian state comprising the Gaza Strip and around 70% of the West Bank, along with some territory currently under Israeli sovereignty, with a capital on the outskirts of East Jerusalem.