Trump’s plan, a threat to regional stability and a lost capital for Palestinians

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas addressed an emergency meeting for Arab league foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday. His message was clear, Palestinians reject U.S president Donald Trump’s proposed Middle East peace plan. Dissatisfied by the new plan, the Palestinians retaliated by threatening to cut security ties with both Israel and the United States.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas holding a map that compares Palestine maps through time and the map proposed by trump’s plan in a meeting in Cairo, Egypt . photo credit: AFP

Abbas said that after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel on December 2017, the Palestinian authorities severed diplomatic ties with the U.S administration, but maintained cooperation with CIA and kept in contact with the U.S congress. He added that his government has a protocol with the United States regarding fighting terrorism.  

“We believe in fighting terrorism… and that’s why there are 83 protocols between us and 83 nations, including the United States, and we thought we should uphold that until we determine what might happen”, Abbas told the Ministers meeting in Cairo.

Abbas said that his government calls with the CIA suggested that they support the Palestinian position.

However, after the revelation of the new peace plan, Abbas said there will be no relationship between the Palestinian authority and Israel and the U.S including security cooperation.

On Tuesday, the European Union rejected Trump’s plan because it “departs from “internationally agreed parameters.”,

“To build a just and lasting peace, the unresolved final status issues must be decided through direct negotiations between both parties. This includes notably the issues related to borders, the status of Jerusalem, security and the refugee question,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

The plan, revealed on January, 28, 2020, more than two years after it was first proposed, angered Palestinians because it recognizes Israeli settlements in the occupied west bank and declares Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Trump’s administration moves violate international law and reverses a long standing policies of the U.S. 

“After what we heard, we informed the Israelis and the Americans in two messages delivered to Israeli Prime minister Netanyahu and the head of the CIA… that there won’t be any relations between us and them, including security ties”, Abbas said.  

The cancelation of security cooperation, which was part of the Oslo Accord signed in the 1990’s, could empower Islamist organization Hamas which rules the Gaza strip.

Hamas is considered as a terrorist organization by the U.S and the European Union.

Hamas repetitively accused the Palestinian authorities in the west bank of supporting the Israeli intelligence and security services in locating and targeting its members. 

In 2015, for example, Hamas leader Fawzi Barhoum accused what he described as “the crime of security cooperation” of being behind the killing of Three Hamas militants including a leader in their armed wing the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades.

Members of Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas in Gaza strip. Photo credit: Reuters.

In 2010, Hamas said that it was the government in the West Bank that helped Israel arrest its leader Maher Auda after chasing him for 10 years.

Trump’s plan, however, might bring Hamas and the Palestinian authorities the West Wank closer as they unify against it.

Former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told Reuters on Thursday that Palestinians were talking with each other about how to mobilize against Trump’s plan.

“The consensual Palestinian position is to reject it,” he said. “We have begun positive steps to unify the Palestinian side. God willing, it will cause this deal to fail.”

Written by
Hesham Haj Ali
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