TEL AVIV – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas $10 billion if he accepts President Donald Trump’s long-anticipated peace plan, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday.
A senior Palestinian official in Ramallah declined to comment on the report.
“According to information obtained by Al-Akhbar, Salman briefed Abbas about the details of the deal of the century and asked him to accept it. According to the information, Salman asked Abbas: ‘What is the annual budget of your entourage?’ Abbas replied: ‘I’m not a prince to have my own entourage,’” the report said, according to a translation by the Jerusalem Post.
The information obtained by the paper was based on reports written up by Jordan’s envoy to Ramallah, Khaled al-Shawabkeh, the paper said.
The two leaders were reported to have held a series a meetings, in which the Saudi crown prince asked Abbas, “How much money does the Palestinian Authority and its ministers and employees need?”
Abbas responded that the Palestinians require $1 billion per year.
“I will give you $10 billion over 10 years if you accept the deal of the century,” Salman was quoted as telling Abbas.
Abbas was reported to have rejected the offer, saying it would “mean the end of my political life.”
Al-Shawabkeh’s briefings to the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were based on conversations with senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah who were privy to the meetings between Salman and Abbas.
Salman told Abbas that the U.S. was willing to give the Palestinians the land they live on, the report said, although it was not clear whether he meant Palestinian statehood.
Salman was also said to have told Abbas that his kingdom and other Arab states would provide financial aid to the Palestinians and assist them in initiating projects in the West Bank to build a robust economy. “Saudi Arabia will support the Palestinian Authority with more than $4 billion” toward this end, Salman reportedly told Abbas.
“Abbas explained to Salman the current situation, and said that he would be unable to make any concessions regarding the settlements, the two-state solution and Jerusalem, and that any pressure will push the Palestinian Authority to dissolve its institutions and hold Israel responsible for managing the affairs of the Palestinians [in the West Bank],” the report said.
Abbas’s senior adviser, Mahmoud Habbash, was said to have lambasted Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, including Egypt and the UAE, for having too much faith in the U.S. Habbash also warned that Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” would irrevocably change the “foundations of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Sinai and even the Gulf states.”
According to the report, Habbash predicted that the Sinai Peninsula would be proposed as a future Palestinian state, while the West Bank “will become cantons under Jordan’s administrative rule and Israel’s security control.”
Jason Greenblatt, one of the architects of the peace plan, last week denied claims that the proposal would include a confederation involving Jordan, Israel and the PA.
“King Abdullah II and Jordan are strong US allies,” he said on Twitter. “Rumors that our peace vision includes a confederation between Jordan, Israel & the PA, or that the vision contemplates making Jordan the homeland for Palestinians, are incorrect. Please don’t spread rumors.”