Palestinian FM: US is Proposing a Plan of Surrender, Not a Peace Deal

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called the US-proposed “peace plan” (aka Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”) a Palestinian surrender, as the US Special Envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, lashed out at the United Nation’s “anti-Israel bias” while urging support for the Trump administration’s “vision,” on Thursday, May 9

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on May 23, 2017 (Photo: US Embassy in Israel)

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on May 23, 2017 (Photo: US Embassy in Israel)

Greenblatt, who was speaking before a meeting of the UN Security Council initiated by temporary member states Indonesia, Kuwait, and South Africa said it was “surprising and unfair” that the council meeting was organized to condemn Israel’s behavior when the latter “was not even invited to speak at this session.” He called the council’s “obsessive” focus on Israeli settlements a “farce,” saying that the purportedly illegal Israeli settlements are not keeping Israelis and the Palestinians from negotiating peace.

Greenblatt continued by emphasizing that the council should be focusing on the paying of stipends by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to families of killed Palestinians (especially those who died while committing terrorist attacks) and Palestinian prisoners, rather than on how the US should continue supporting the PA budget. Greenblatt noted, “The Trump administration has drastically cut its support for the Palestinians to try to spur their return to negotiations.”

Following Greenblatt’s speech at the UN, al-Maliki dismissed the US peace effort, stressing that all indications are it will merely lay down “conditions for surrender.” Al-Maliki also pointed out that illegal Israeli settlements are at the “core” of its “obstruction of peace.” In addition, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, described illegal settlement construction as “unacceptable” and urged the UN council to take a firmer stance against Israel. Marsudi also stressed, “Inaction is not an option.”

It is noteworthy that the PA has been boycotting the US administration since December 2017 when US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and then moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. Following recent tensions and the US Trump administration’s undeniable support for Israel has prompted the Palestinians to cut communication with the US and declared it unfit to be a mediator during the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Al-Maliki stressed that the Palestinian leadership’s rejection of the so-called “Deal of the Century,” which he said aims to undermine any opportunity for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Al-Maliki said the deal topples United Nations resolutions and international law, and that any plan or deal that does not recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine is doomed to failure and will be rejected in total.

He pointed to the Palestinian diplomatic moves in confronting the “Deal of the Century” and its coordination with the Arab and Islamic states and the European Union to generate an international reaction and pressure by most of the world on the American administration to respect the rights of the Palestinian people and the criteria set by international agreements and resolutions regarding the two-state solution on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.

Al-Maliki referred to President Mahmoud Abbas’ peace plan, which was presented in his speech delivered before the UN Security Council on February 20 of last year, as the basis for any future negotiating process. The Palestinian FM also talked about the Israeli government’s decision to rob the Palestinian tax funds under various pretexts, stressing the position of the Palestinian leadership, which refuses to receive the funds if incomplete since this money is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people, warning of the seriousness of the deterioration of economic conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a result of Israeli policies.