Mahmoud Abbas rejects Israeli-American peace plan at the UN

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the United Nations Security Council meeting, holding a map of the region. In New York, February 11, 2020.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the United Nations Security Council meeting, holding a map of the region. In New York, February 11, 2020. SPENCER PLATT / AFP

It was an expected speech. The speech by which Mahmoud Abbas hoped to garner almost unanimous support against the "Vision" of the Trump administration for a " peace " Israeli-Palestinian. Also, on Tuesday, February 11, the president of the Palestinian Authority solemnly declared his rejection of a plan that would make a Palestinian state a "Swiss Gruyere", after renouncing a vote on a resolution the day before because of insufficient international support.

"We reject the Israeli-American plan" who "Questions the legitimate rights of the Palestinians", he launched, denouncing in particular the absence of East Jerusalem in a future Palestinian state. He would make Palestine "A fragmented state", he insisted, referring to a situation "Apartheid" and the lack of sovereignty for its people.

Palestine has, after all, decided not to vote on a resolution on Tuesday after an intense weekend of negotiations and "Psychological warfare". The renunciation represents a serious setback for the Palestinians, even if they assure that negotiations on the text started last week will continue.

The latter also explain that they wanted to spare their support for the UN, which was subjected to very strong pressure from the United States not to approve a resolution. Washington has threatened to “Retaliatory measures” especially financial countries that would position themselves against the United States.

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On Sunday, the United States and the United Kingdom submitted to their Security Council partners a series of amendments to the text aimed at removing all criticism of the plan unveiled by Donald Trump on January 28. This project retains a "Two-state solution" but proposes to create the capital of a Palestinian state in Abu Dis, a suburb of Jerusalem, when the Palestinians want to make the whole of East Jerusalem their capital.

"These are our territories"

It also includes an annexation of the Israeli settlements, as well as of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, with borders breaking with the lines drawn at the time. It also provides for a demilitarized state for Palestine.

"These are our territories", asserted before the Security Council Mahmoud Abbas. "What gives you the right to annex them? " he asked the Israelis, calling "The international community to put pressure on Israel" to prevent this prospect which could intervene in the aftermath of the next Israeli elections in early March.

For US Ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, the plan, which comes with a $ 50 billion investment, "Is realistic and can be implemented". "This is not a project frozen in stone, take it or leave it", she added, referring to "A proposal to start a dialogue".

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Among its amendments to the draft resolution, Washington asked to delete the mention of a vision to "Two sovereign and democratic states" to keep only the qualification of"Democratic states".

In a joint declaration before the Security Council meeting, the members of the European Union sitting in this body (Belgium, France, Germany, Estonia, plus Poland, former member) stressed on the contrary their commitment to a two-way solution States, of which "A state in one piece, independent, democratic, sovereign and viable" for the Palestinians. For the latter and several of their supporters, the American project is unbalanced and far too favorable to Israel.

Call for an "international peace conference"

Mahmoud Abbas reiterated that "The United States could no longer be the only mediator" for peace in the Middle East. He called the "Quartet (United States, Russia, European Union and UN) and the members of the Security Council to organize an international peace conference", without further details.

According to the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, peace cannot come about if the Palestinians do not change leaders. "It’s only after he’s gone that Israel and the Palestinians can move forward," he said.

If the Palestinian President can boast, in his rejection of Donald Trump's plan, of support from the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the African Union, international support has multiple "Cracks" according to the term used by Jared Kushner, advisor to Donald Trump and lead author of the American project.

Reactions to the plan have often shown moderation, the European Union has not shown itself united and in the Arab world, several countries have expressed their support for Washington, such as the United Arab Emirates, Oman or Bahrain.


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