Top Palestinian Body Backs Abbas: End Recognition of Israel, Reject Any Peace Deal by Trump

The Palestinian Central Council lends its support to President Abbas' speech in which he promised to 'slap back' the Trump admin. and accused Israel of killing the Oslo Accords

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas closes news conference following a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Onur Coban/ AP

The Palestinian Central Council stated on Monday evening that the Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel should be frozen immediately, with all the consequences implicit in such a diplomatic move: putting an end to the security coordination with Israel and acting versus the international community in order to fully boycott Israeli settlements.

The council's strong statement provided full backing to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' speech on Sunday in which he blamed Israel of killing the Oslo accords and dubbed U.S. President Donald Trump's Mideast peace plan a "slap in the face."

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Much like the Palestinian president, the council on Monday denounced President Trump for declaring Jerusalem to be the Israeli capital and supported Abbas' decision not to enable the U.S. to remain the mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the political process toward peace.

The council, which is the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, called Trump's stance on Jerusalem a deal breaker that has officially pushed the U.S. out of its role as the sponsor of peace talks. It further called on the White House to walk back on that monumental statement as well as to renounce the threat to close the PLO mission in Washington.  

As long as the Oval Office does not renege on its stance regarding Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in occupied territories, any deal or American peace initiative should be rejected, the statement continued.

Any other idea for a temporary solution to the conflict or temporary borders should also be flat out rejected, and Palestinians should continue to refuse to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

The council then said that the 'intermediate phase' regarding Israel has ended, and that it was time to act to officially give the PA the status of a state under occupation, with all the political and legal repercussions that shall ensue.

Palestinians ought to call on the world to slap sanctions on Israel due to the continued occupation and the Apartheid regime it upholds in Palestinian territories, the statement by the council added.

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Only an Arab peace deal, in its original phrasing, should be accepted, the council urged. The latest such initiative was reportedly by Saudi Arabia and was presented to Abbas in December, a New York Times report claimed at the time. 

It also noted that Palestinian officials should continue to turn to the United Nations and its Security Council in order to achieve the recognition of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders. Other international organizations, such as the International Court of Law, should be approached so that Israel is prosecuted as it ought to be, the council said.

The council also stated that the Palestinian people's non-violent struggle against the occupation should continue, while relying on the aid of Arab countries that should now support the Palestinians and provide the PA with a general and financial support system.

The council did say that efforts to work toward reconciliation should carry on, and that the Palestinian National Council should be convened by year's end to act to advance elections for both Palestinian presidency and the parliament.

The strong statement by the council that denounced recognition of Israel echoed that of Abbas, who said in a long and dramatic speech in Ramallah on Sunday that "today is the day that the Oslo Accords end. Israel killed them. We are an authority without any authority, and an occupation without any cost. Trump threatens to cut funding to the authority because negotiations have failed. When the hell did negotiations start?!"

Abbas added that "any future negotiations will take place only within the context of the international community, by an international committee created in the framework of an international conference. Allow me to be clear: We will not accept America leadership of a political process involving negotiations.