Palestinians reiterate rejection of U.S. peace deal ahead of possible formal announcement

EYEAFRICA TV: Ramallah, Palestine: Palestine threatened to withdraw from the Oslo Accords signed with Israel if the United States announces its Middle East peace plan this week.

Speaking to reporters on Jan. 23, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would unveil the long-awaited Middle East peace plan, also known as the “Deal of The Century,” before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gants visit Washington on Tuesday.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Sunday that Palestine will consider withdrawing from the Oslo Accords signed with Israel in 1993 if Trump makes the announcement. He criticized Trump as “trying to forge peace between the two Israeli election contenders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gants, and not between Palestinians and Israelis.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the U.S. President will not gain “a single Palestinian or Arab to agree on the ‘Deal of the Century’.”

Palestinian President’s Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeinah said that the Palestinian leadership will hold a series of meetings on all levels in order to “foil the ‘Deal of the Century’.”

“If the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ is announced, it would have grave consequences on the entire region, because it will harm sovereignty of states in the region and their identities,” he warned, urging the Arab world to support the Palestinian position.

Since the failure of the U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Palestine and Israel in 2014, the Palestinians have been calling for an international multi-lateral mechanism to overlook peace negotiations with Israel.

The Trump administration has reversed decades of U.S. policy regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Political ties between the Palestinians and the U.S. administration had been severed since Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in late 2017, reversing a long-standing U.S. policy regarding the conflict.

So far details of the new U.S. Middle East plan have not been released. When the plan was announced at a workshop in Bahrain last June, Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner said he aimed at luring investments worth of 50 billion U.S. dollars in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan to create 1 million job opportunities for the Palestinians as well as doubling the GDP in 10 years.

But the Palestinians and many Arab countries refuse to buy the deal because it excludes matters such as the establishment of the Palestinian independent state, Jewish settlements, and the refugee issue.

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