Abbas: Jerusalem is Arab, Islamic and Christian

PA chairman refuses to take Jerusalem and "refugees" off the negotiating table.

Dalit Halevi,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas is continuing his diplomatic offensive against the United States and Israel following President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Washington's cut to the financial aid it provides to UNRWA.

In a speech in Ramallah, Abbas said that Jerusalem is "Arab, Islamic and Christian," and that the Palestinian Arabs would not allow anyone to say that it is the "united capital" or to move the American embassy to it.

He stressed that the PA will not agree to remove Jerusalem and the “refugees” from the list of issues that should be discussed at the negotiating table. He said that the Palestinian Arabs agree to a two-state solution within the pre-1967 borders and with eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

He denied what he described as "lies" about the Palestinian Arabs' refusal to return to the negotiating table, noting that their hands are extended to peace, which will be achieved through negotiations, and that they support the war against terror anywhere in the world.

In addition, Abbas claimed that since 1947 the United Nations has approved nearly 705 resolutions and the Security Council has approved 86 resolutions, but none have been implemented and wondered, "What is the value of the UN's international legitimacy when Israel is above the law?"

Despite his claims otherwise, the PA chairman has chosen to impose preconditions on talks with Israel rather than heeding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's call to negotiate.

Abbas has continued his refusal to negotiate with Israel following Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, declaring that he would "no longer accept" any peace plan proposed by the United States.

He is now attempting to bypass the U.S. and Israel altogether by asking EU foreign ministers to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 territories with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas is due to address the UN Security Council on February 20 where he is expected to respond to Trump's Jerusalem move.