Abbas to Democratic Lawmakers: Palestinians Won’t Accept US Diktats
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a visiting delegation of 40-plus Democratic lawmakers that his government would not accept any US diktats. The PA chief was referring to what has become known as the “Deal of the Century,” a somewhat derogatory reference to President Donald Trump’s Israel-Palestinian peace plan. Abbas has repeatedly rejected the initiative out-of-hand, and imposed a boycott on all administration officials in the wake of President Trump’s December 2017 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Accordingly, the PA refused to attend June’s US-sponsored conference in Bahrain, where the economic components of the White House’s peace plan were unveiled. Abbas has made clear his belief that the Trump Administration is seeking to impose a solution to the conflict on Ramallah, and stressed that any future peace talks must prioritize political issues at the heart of the decades-long standoff. In this respect, Abbas told the US delegation that he rejects any unilateral American decisions related to “Jerusalem, refugees, borders and security,” while reiterating his support for the two-state solution in accordance with “resolutions of international legitimacy.” He also accused Jerusalem of “insisting on destroying [previously signed agreements], a matter that has pushed the Palestinian leadership to decide to halt [their implementation].” The members of Congress – lead by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer – arrived in Israel on Tuesday on a trip organized by a charity affiliated with the AIPAC lobbying group.