PA official: We won't accept peace plan without Jerusalem

PA's Washington stresses the PA will not accept any Trump peace plan that does not include eastern Jerusalem.

Elad Benari,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to Washington stressed on Monday that the PA will not accept any Trump administration peace plan that does not include eastern Jerusalem or address the issue of “refugees”.

Zomlot spoke at the J Street conference and was quoted by Haaretz.

"We remain steadfast in our vision of peace and self-determination. Two states on the 1967 borders with a state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital [and] a just solution to the problem of refugees," he stressed.

"That vision would have to include a state of Israel, with final and secured, internationally recognized borders, and with neighborly relations with us," said Zomlot.

Referring to the Trump administration's upcoming peace plan, he said the Palestinians will not accept a "state minus" or a "state in provisional borders." He also stressed they will not accept a state "with one Israeli soldier on its soil."

Zomlot also reiterated that the Palestinians reject the American administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"It does not help the cause of peace. Jerusalem is the key to peace. Jerusalem is the very heart of the two-state solution. Without Jerusalem there can never be a two-state solution. That decision was counterproductive to peace," he claimed.

“No one can have exclusive claim for Jerusalem. We vow that once peace prevails, once the State of Palestine is created, with East Jerusalem as its capital, we will not only recognize the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, we will celebrate it," continued Zomlot.

Last week, a senior White House official said the Trump administration has nearly completed its Israeli-PA peace plan but is still struggling to decide how and when to roll it out.

While offering few specifics for the plan, the official confirmed to Reuters it would not contain a U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, as the PA had demanded. It will instead stick to Trump’s assertion that he will accept whatever the two sides agree.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to consider the Trump administration an honest broker for negotiations since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

PA officials have repeatedly rejected the Trump administration’s peace proposal, claiming it was coordinated with Israel.

Zomlot recently said Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital amounted to “backstabbing”.

Abbas recalled Zomlot to Washington for “consultations” over Trump’s Jerusalem move shortly after it was announced. However, Zomlot returned to Washington just one day later.

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