Abbas slams Trump's Mideast peace plan as 'slap on face'

Ramallah, Jan 15:  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed on Sunday the peace deal proposed by US President Donald Trump, calling it a "a slap on the face".

Abbas told members of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council, who convened in the city of Ramallah for two days, that Trump's "deal of the century" is "a slap on the face," adding "we will slap back," Xinhua reported.

The Central Council convened for two days to come up with strategic decisions on the peace process, the relations with Israel and to discuss Trump's declaration last December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Jerusalem was removed from the table by a tweet of Trump," said Abbas, adding that "the status of Jerusalem is like Mecca. Nothing is more important than Jerusalem."

The Palestinians consider East Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel during the Arab-Israeli war in 1967, as the capital of their future independent state, while Israel declared the integral Jerusalem as its eternal capital.

"We say No to what contradicts with our fate, our future or our cause or our people... No and a thousand Nos and now we say to Trump No and No and we tell Trump 'the deal of the century' is 'a slap of the century," said Abbas.

He stressed that "the Palestinians will not leave or make or repeat the mistakes of the past," adding "this is a fateful moment that calls on every Palestinian to immediately stand up to defend the fate of the eternal capital."

Meanwhile, Abbas criticized Islamic Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad for boycotting the meeting of the PLO Central Council. The two groups said they decided not to join the meeting because it was not held in one of the Arab countries.

"It bothered me a lot that our brothers said at the last minute that they would not attend because the place of the meeting is not appropriate. Where is the place in their eyes to make fateful decisions freely?" said Abbas.

He went on saying "I may not blame Islamic Jihad because they do not work in politics, but what bothers me is our brothers in Hamas."

Speaker of the Council Salim Za'noon said earlier that "the United States is no longer a sponsor of the peace process after its declaration on Jerusalem.

He said that "any ideas that are traded under the name of 'the deal of the century' must be confronted. It seeks to impose a deficient solution that does not meet the minimum of our legitimate rights."

"We must reaffirm the rights of our people to resist the occupation in its entire legitimate means and to make its cost great. The Palestinian National Council (PNC) should be considered as the Legislative Council of the Palestinians," he added. 

Source: IANS