- In Christmas message aimed at Trump, Abbas says Palestinians will never accept any peace plan from U.S.
- In blow to Trump and Netanyahu, UN rejects U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
- Arab states see U.S. aid as secure, despite voting against Trump's Jerusalem declaration at UN
Abbas came out Friday against the American peace initiative and said the Palestinians would not accept any plan made by the Americans due to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that was widely rejected by the world in a UN vote Thursday.
In a Christmas letter to Christians, Abbas wrote that the Palestinians will not "accept any plan from the U.S." due to the White House's "biased" support of Israel and its settlement policy. He also said the American plan "is not going to be based on the two-state solution on the 1967 border, nor is it going to be based on international law or UN resolutions."
"Abbas declared he was abandoning the peace process and did not care which proposal the United States brings to the table," Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting. "I think that once again, something clear and simple emerges: The Palestinians are the ones who do not want to solve the conflict."
>>Top analyses on UN vote: Netanyahu touts Israel's warming diplomatic ties, but UN vote teaches lesson in humility ■ UN vote is mild rebuke for Israel but a slap in face for Trump ■ Fact check: Why Israeli UN envoy's speech on Jerusalem missed the mark
Netanyahu added that the "United States said another very important thing: The roots of the conflict are not in Israel, but in Iran and with radical Islam and the terror that it propagates."
On Thursday, Haaretz reported that Abbas dispatched his close adviser Nabil Sha’ath to Russia for talks with senior officials in the Kremlin, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Sha’ath will discuss the possibility of the Russians taking a more active role in the peace process, along with other nations such as China and France.
Because of the Russian involvement in Syria and their dealings with other Middle East countries, including Turkey and Iran, the Palestinians think Israel would be unable to ignore pressure from Moscow.
Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman on Sunday termed the Palestinian front "unstable - particularly after Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital."