TEL AVIV – A senior Palestinian official said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is locked in “confrontation” with the Trump administration over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that the days when the world is led by the U.S. are numbered, the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday.
“President Mahmoud Abbas is in a position of full confrontation with the United States and Israel in the wake of the Israeli government’s intransigence and the recent US administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer its embassy to it,” Abbas’ Adviser for International Affairs Nabil Shaath said during a gathering at the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo.
“We will not establish our state but on our national soil. No state in Gaza, no state without Gaza; no state without Jerusalem as the capital, not a capital in Jerusalem, but Jerusalem is the capital,” Shaath added.
He also predicted that within three years, “the world ruled by the United States will end and a multilateral leadership will be established.”
“We will be part of this new world,” he added.
Shaath’s remarks came amid Palestinian anger at Washington’s announcement that it will be moving its embassy to Jerusalem in time for the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence in May.
The same paper on Wednesday also reported that the Trump administration’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will likely include U.S. and international recognition of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. The White House on Wednesday dismissed the report.
The Old City of Jerusalem will fall under “international protection,” the report claimed, quoting “knowledgeable Arab diplomatic sources” in Paris.
While rumors of the purported plan continue to swirl in the Arab world, nothing has been officially confirmed. Still, Palestinian officials have called it the “slap of the century” that no Palestinian would ever accept. Several senior Palestinian Authority officials have wildly claimed that the U.S. administration, together with Israel, is looking to destroy the Palestinian cause and oust its current leadership.
The report also said the large settlement blocs would remain where they are while smaller ones would be transferred elsewhere.
The framework would also see the PA’s security and administrative authorities bolstered in areas A and B — where there are only Palestinian populations — of the West Bank, the report added.
$40 billion in funds will be raised by the U.S. to help establish a Palestinian state. However, the sources stressed to the paper, the money is not intended to “buy” Palestinian compliance.
Responsibility for security in the Gaza Strip would be handled by the Egyptians, according to the report.
Since Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December, the PA has severed ties with the U.S., saying the country can no longer be an impartial broker of the peace process.
Also on Wednesday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that European Union countries would act on behalf of the Palestinians to convince the Trump administration to amend the plan in their favor.