TEL AVIV — Arab countries recently made contact with prominent personalities and Palestinian officials who live in Jerusalem with the goal of changing the Palestinian leadership to one that would accept the Trump administration’s Mideast peace deal, an official from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party claims.
The countries made the contact “in order to build a Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem prepared to accept the American suggestion for compromise over Jerusalem like accepting the town of Abu Dis next to Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state,” Fatah’s representative in charge of Jerusalem, Hatem Abdelkader (pictured), claimed to Breitbart Jerusalem.
“We warned all of these individuals not to cooperate with this initiative when we learned that they had been contacted,” said Abdelkader.
The Palestinian official refused to say which Arab countries allegedly tried to establish an alternative Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem, but Palestinian sources in the city claimed that they are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Palestinians declared a general strike in Jerusalem on Tuesday in protest of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall.
According to Abdelkader, “Pence is Trump’s deputy and we believe that under their leadership the U.S. has lost its ability to be the sponsor and mediator for the peace process. The U.S. under Pence and [Donald] Trump has gone from sponsor to active collaborator with one of the sides in negotiations – and I mean Israel of course – and as such they are no longer worthy of cooperation from us.
“There is no more credibility with the U.S. Jerusalem is one of the issues in a final agreement and when the Americans prematurely give Jerusalem to Israel as its capital, that means that they have interfered with negotiations and decided on the results of one of the most complicated issues if not the most.”
Abdelkader failed to mention the Palestinian Authority walked away from numerous U.S.-brokered peace talks over the past 17 years, with statehood offers that included a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem.
When asked if the Palestinian leadership has succeeded in its recent efforts to find an alternative to the U.S. as a sponsor of the political process, particularly Russia, the EU or even China, Abdelkader broke out laughing and admitted, “No, no, we haven’t found anyone and I don’t think we will find an alternative to the U.S., so instead of an alternative to the U.S., we must think about an alternative to the political process.”
For Abdelkader, the alternative to the political process is a so-called intifada, a reference to violence targeting Israel. The Palestinians “must return to popular pacifistic struggle,” he said, while completing the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, and making the Palestinian cause a central issue on the agenda of the international community.
Abdelkader said, “The time has come for the Palestinian leadership to understand that the Palestinian Authority must cease to exist. The Palestinian Authority needs to be dismantled and the ball should go back in the court of the PLO and the Palestinian factions because as the Palestinian Authority we turned into Israel’s employees.”
According to Abdelkader, the Palestinians need to understand that in the age of Trump and Pence, a new age has also begun in the political process “and there needs to also be a new Palestinian approach regarding Israel. 2018 will be a particularly difficult year in light of the fact that the countries of Europe are spineless and don’t dare confront the U.S. and Israel over the Palestinian cause, and especially now that there are Arab countries cooperating with Israel and the U.S. These countries are tired of the Palestinian cause. Therefore, we need to understand that there won’t be anyone to rely on but ourselves.”