Mahmoud Abbas describes Trump’s Middle East peace plan ‘slap of the century’

Referring to the US president’s pledge to achieve the “ultimate deal”, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas described Trump’s plan as the ‘slap of the century’. Sharply criticizing Donald Trump, Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority (PA) will never accept the US president’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Addressing the two-day central council meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Ramallah, the PA president said, “Politically, Jerusalem is our capital; in our religion, it is our capital; geographically, it is our capital,” said Abbas.

Mahmoud Abbas said, “Now we say ‘No’ to Trump, we won’t accept his plan – we say the ‘deal of the century’ is the slap of the century.” He further said that Israel had “ended” the Oslo peace accords of the 1990s with its actions.

It must be recalled that Trump had recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6. His decision was widely condemned by the international community and ignited deadly protests in the occupied Palestinian territories. Following Trump’s decision, Mahmoud Abbas had asserted that the US could no longer play any role in the Middle East peace process. Palestinian leaders said, by declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital US cannot become impartial arbitrator.

Addressing the Palestinian leaders, Mahmoud Abbas, said that this was a time where the Palestinians needed to get together because Jerusalem is the religious, cultural and political capital of Palestine.