Top Palestinian Official Erekat Slams Trump Peace Plan as Pro-settler

PLO secretary general says any plan that doesn't ensure a Palestinian state on pre-'67 borders 'is not worth discussing'

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Saeb Erekat looks on during a news conference following his meeting with foreign diplomats, in Ramallah, January 30, 2019.
Saeb Erekat looks on during a news conference following his meeting with foreign diplomats, in Ramallah, January 30, 2019.Credit: \ MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/ REUTERS

Senior Palestinan official Saeb Erekat slammed on Tuesday comments made by Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser, concerning the administration's impending Palestinian-Israeli peace plan, arguing it leads to the destruction of the two-state solution.

In first comments by a Palestinian official since Kushner's interview with Sky News Arabia on Monday, Erekat said any plan that doesn't ensure the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital "is not worth discussing."

Erekat, secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee and former chief Palestinian negotiator, added the American proposal, to be unveiled after Israel's April 9 election, follows policy lines drawn by Israeli settler leaders. "I don't understand how this administration has the audacity to ask Arab states for funding for a plan that would lead to recognition in Jerusalem as Israel's capital and put Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy places under Israeli custody and sovereignty," he said. 

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His comments follow the Palestinian Authority's rebuke of Trump's peace plan. The Trump administration and the PA have not had any official contacts in more than a year – ever since Trump announced he was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy there.

A White House official told Haaretz earlier this month that the administration isn’t trying to bypass Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and still hopes to get his support for the peace plan.

Kushner, who is also Trump's son-in-law, told Sky News Arabia that the administration's peace plan will address all core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including borders. "We are trying to come up with realistic solutions that are relevant to the year 2019," he said.

One of the main principles of the plan, according to Kushner, is freedom, including freedom of opportunity and religion. He said the aim is to eliminate the borders as they are today, "in order to guarantee freedom of movement for people and goods."

Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special envoy to the Middle East, have planned a visit to the region to discuss economic aspects of the peace plan.