'As Long as Jerusalem Isn't on the Table, Trump's Plan Won't Be Either,' Abbas Adviser Warns

Israeli leader of Geneva Initiative warns Israeli government that it must stop Trump from offering a peace plan that doesn't include a Palestinian state

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a summit between Arab league and European Union member states, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, February 24, 2019.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a summit between Arab league and European Union member states, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, February 24, 2019.Credit: \ MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/ REUTERS
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

"As long as Jerusalem is not on the table, Trump's [Middle East peace] plan will not be on the table," Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in Ramallah Tuesday during a meeting with Israeli journalists, which was organized by the HL Peace Education Inc.

The organization, also known as the Geneva Initiative, is a nonprofit group that aims to establish an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 23Credit: Haaretz

Abu Rudeineh, who also serves as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' personal adviser, added that any peace initiative should be based on previous principles that guided the negotiations: A two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with two capitals in Jerusalem (an Israeli one in the west of the city and a Palestinian one in the east).

The Palestinian spokesperson noted that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) will convene its central committee in the coming days to make decisions that may lead to the end of security coordination with Israel and a withdrawal from the Paris Protocol, which was signed in 1994 and settled economic relations between the two parties.

>> Read more: Meet the world's last, best hope to prevent Israel's annexation of the West Bank | Opinion ■ Trump says Netanyahu’s reelection is good for peace. Israeli politics could prove otherwise | Analysis ■ The best chance for Israeli right's dream of annexing the West Bank: The Palestinians | Amos Harel ■ Kushner tries to win support for peace plan in Arab world – and inflames Israeli right

"The Israeli decision to cut back 42 million shekels a month from tax money we deserve has led to security personnel not receiving the salaries they are due, and this will have grave repercussions," he added, relating to a decision by Israel in February to freeze the transfer of tax money it collects on behalf of the PA.

The meeting, which was attended by the Israeli and Palestinian leaders of the Geneva Initiative, was also held in the presence of former Palestinian ministers, Palestinian members of the PLO committee overseeing relations with Israeli society and advisers to Abbas.

Gadi Blatianksy, the Israeli Director General of the Geneva Initiative, heeded that "the Israeli government must speak immediately to the Palestinian leadership and clarify to the United States that a plan that doesn't give peace a chance will only exacerbate desperation and increase the chances for violence."

The Trump administration has been toiling for months on a peace plan that it said it would unveil after Israel's general election, which was held last week.

On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that conversations with Arab officials indicated that the U.S. president's plan, which is being coordinated by a team of advisers headed by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, may not include a sovereign Palestinian state. In his comments, Abu Rudeineh was apparently referring to such a scenario – which the Palestinian leadership is unlikely to accept, a situation that would again put a halt to the negotiations.

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