WEST BANK (Dispatches) – The head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has turned down an offer from U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss his so-called "deal of the century”, AFP reported, citing anonymous Palestinian officials.
The sources say that the Trump administration has made several attempts to reach Abbas in recent months, including via third-parties, but to no avail.
According to one of the news agency’s sources, the PA leader is not planning to discuss any plan until a so-called two-state solution envisaging the creation of an independent Palestinian state is recognized by the U.S. This goes in line with earlier PA fears that Trump’s deal seeks to bury its dreams of establishing a Palestinian state.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh also said earlier Trump’s plan on the decades-old Zionist-Palestinian conflict aims to protect him from impeachment and the Zionist premier from imprisonment.
"This plan does not form the basis for resolving the conflict, and is presented by a party that has lost its integrity and credibility. It is a plan to protect Trump from impeachment and [Benjamin] Netanyahu from prison. It is not a Middle East peace plan,” Shtayyeh told a weekly cabinet session in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.
"This plan gives Israel sovereignty over Palestinian territory,” he said.
The high-ranking Palestinian official urged international community to boycott the so-called deal of the century, describing it as biased in favor of the Zionist regime.
"We call on the international community to not be partners in this, because it contravenes international law. The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale,” Shtayyeh said.
He noted that President Mahmoud Abbas would call a meeting of the Palestinian leadership to discuss the best ways to respond to the U.S.-crafted deal.
Meanwhile, the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) political party, Mustafa Barghouti, said Trump’s reception of Netanyahu and his main political rival Benny Gantz at the White House on January 28 to unveil "the deal of the century” is proof that the plan is a Zionist "racist” project with an American cover.
"This contradicts the decisions of the UN Security Council and even the positions of previous U.S. administrations. It seems that the U.S. president is trying to persuade Netanyahu and Gantz to form a coalition cabinet in order to pass the deal to liquidate the national rights of Palestinians,” Barghouti said in a statement released on Monday.
"What we are witness to indicates that the negotiation process under U.S. auspices has ended, and talks on the rights and future of the Palestinian nations have finished off,” he highlighted.
Barghouthi stressed that "the Palestinian people will not allow the conspiracy against their national rights to proceed. Palestinian rights constitute a decisive element in the equation. It is the duty of all peoples and nations to stand by it and refuse to deal with normalization projects at the expense of the Palestinians.”