Report: Abbas Sends Letter to Israeli PM Warning against Unilateral Moves
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly dispatched a senior official to meet with Israel’s finance minister in order to convey Ramallah’s extreme opposition to any prospective unilateral moves by Jerusalem that would change the longstanding status quo in the wake of the release of the US peace plan. Abbas has vowed to torpedo the proposal, which he said would wind up in the “dustbin of history.” According to Israel’s Channel 12, the Palestinian leader sent a personal letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warning against Israel’s annexation of large swaths of the West Bank. The missive added that Israel’s acceptance of the contours of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan as a basis for future negotiations is viewed by the PA as an abrogation of the 1993 Oslo Accords, therefore freeing the Palestinians to end their obligations, including security cooperation with Israel. Abbas is slated to travel to Cairo for an Arab League meeting that will discuss a coordinated response to the US initiative. It follows the tacit, albeit cool, approval of the plan by the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Morocco, among other regional Arab states. By contrast, Turkey and Iran issued scathing criticisms of the initiative, whereas Jordan – whose support is considered vital for there to be any chance at jump-starting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – has been conspicuously mum. Abbas is also expected in the next two weeks to speak about the US plan at the United Nations Security Council in New York. For his part, Netanyahu on Thursday is scheduled to return to Israel from Moscow, where he briefed President Vladimir Putin on the details of the peace proposal and secured the release of a jailed Israeli backpacker in a move that could give the Israeli prime minister an electoral boost.