Israel’s UN Envoy: Peace With Palestinians Impossible Until Abbas Goes
In a heated session on Tuesday at the UN Security Council, Israel’s envoy stated that peace would remain impossible so long as Mahmoud Abbas heads the Palestinian Authority. “Only when he [Abbas] steps down can Israel and the Palestinians move forward. A leader who chooses rejectionism, incitement and glorification of terror can never be a real partner for peace,” Danny Danon said during a debate about US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan. The comments came minutes after Abbas gave an address to the 15-member body in which he accused Washington of “legaliz[ing] what is illegal – [Israeli] settlement building and [the] confiscation and annexation of Palestinian lands.” The Trump Administration’s so-called deal of the century, which was unveiled on January 28, envisions the creation of a Palestinian state on about 70% of the West Bank with Israel applying sovereignty over the strategic Jordan Valley and most, if not all, Jewish communities located across the pre-1967 borders. Notably, in what is being construed as a blow to Ramallah, a resolution to formally denounce the US plan was not brought to a vote as originally anticipated. The PA apparently lacked the minimum support of nine countries for the motion to be adopted in the absence of a veto by one of the body’s five permanent members. The US reportedly applied “very strong pressure” on nations to torpedo the resolution without having to wield its veto power, going so far as to threaten potential backers with economic sanctions.