WH: Abbas' rhetoric has prevented peace for years

White House official says Abbas' rejection of US mediation after Jerusalem recognition typical of past rhetoric which has prevented peace.

Gary Willig ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

The White House criticized Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas' rejection of the US as a peace broker in the Middle East and said that Abbas' inflammatory rhetoric have made peace harder to achieve for years, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Speaking in Istanbul at an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday, Abbas accused President Trump of “giving away” Jerusalem to the “Zionist movement” by recognizing the city as Israel’s capital and said that “it will be unacceptable for it (the US) to have a role in the political process any longer since it is biased in favor of Israel.”

An anonymous White House official fired back at Abbas, telling the Jerusalem Post that Abbas was "distorting" Trump's speech in which he recognized Jerusalem.

"The president remains as committed to peace as ever," the official said. "This rhetoric, which has prevented peace for years, is not surprising, as we anticipated reactions like this. We will remain hard at work putting together our plan, which will benefit the Israeli and Palestinian peoples."

"It is also important to ignore the distortions and instead focus on what the president actually said last week– the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties, the United States continues to take no position on any final status issues and the United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. We will continue to work on our plan for peace that we hope will offer the best outcome for both peoples and look forward to unveiling it when it is ready and the time is right."

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also slammed Abbas for his rejection of US mediation.

"It is better for the Palestinians to recognize reality and work for peace, not for radicalization, and to recognize another fact about Jerusalem: not only is it the capital of Israel, but we also maintain freedom of worship in Jerusalem for all religions and we are the only ones who keep this promise in the Middle East," Netanyahu said.

He said that Israel was not impressed by the threats of Abbas or his aides.

"In the end, the truth will win and they will recognize that many countries will also recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and will also move their embassies there," Netanyahu declared.