No Palestinian state without Jerusalem: Abbas


RAMALLAH – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (picture) stressed Tuesday that it is impossible to accept a Palestinian state without Jerusalem, warning that Palestinians will fight a peace plan unveiled by the US with all their energy and work to thwart it.

“A Palestinian state cannot be accepted without the city of Jerusalem,” Anadolu Agency reported Abbas as saying during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

“Jerusalem is not for sale,” he added, addressing US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He also renewed his commitment to hold Palestinian elections in the city of Jerusalem.

“After we heard this nonsense from Trump, we say a thousand times no to the deal of the century.

“We will not kneel and surrender. Conspiracies and the so-called peace plan are doomed to fail and disappear. They will not create new rights and it will not be binding.”

Abbas considered the American deal “the end of the Balfour Declaration, and it is dependent on the declaration,” indicating that it is an extension of the Balfour Declaration, during which the British government pledged through the words of its Foreign Minister Arthur James Balfour in 1917 to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

Abbas also stressed adherence to international legitimacy and the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions related to the Palestinian case.

He reiterated his rejection of the US unilaterally sponsoring the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

“We are not a terrorist people and (we are) committed to fighting terrorism,” he said.

Abbas stated that the Palestinian leadership meeting witnessed the participation of all Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

“The head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, called me, and we both agreed to open a new page and hold a meeting in the Gaza Strip,” Abbas said, without elaborating.

On Tuesday, Trump released his oft-delayed plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian dispute during a press conference at the White House, where he was hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while Palestinian authorities were not represented.

During the news conference, Trump referred to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital”.

The so-called peace plan unilaterally annuls previous UN resolutions on the Palestinian issue and suggests giving Israel almost everything they have been demanding.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in various parts of Palestine and the Jordanian capital Amman in reaction to the plan’s formal rollout.

The “#FreePalestine” hashtag also quickly became the top world trend on Twitter.