Abbas, Arab and Muslim countries reject Trump’s plan as against Palestinian sovereignty

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NEW YORK: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Arab and other Muslim countries have outright rejected an American plan aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it is in breach of United Nations resolutions and Palestinian sovereignty.

Brandishing a large map of Israel and Palestine as laid out by Trump’s long-awaited January 28 plan in the UN Security Council on Tuesday, he called it a “Swiss cheese” deal that would limit Palestinian sovereignty.

“This is the summary of the project that was presented to us. This is the state they will give us. It’s like a Swiss cheese, really. Who among you will accept a similar state?” Abbas posed the question.

“I would like to say to Mr. Donald Trump that his plan cannot achieve peace and security as it cancels international legitimacy,” Abbas told the 15-member Council in a speech, referring to the US president. “It cancels all the rights of the Palestinians. This does not meet the aspirations of a two-state solution,” he added.

Stressing that the plan would legitimize Israel’s illegal settlements and the annexation of occupied Palestinian land, Abbas said, “If you impose peace, it will not last, it cannot last. What gives you the right to annex these lands?”

The Palestinian president also called on the international community not to consider the plan as an international reference for negotiations, saying, “It is an Israeli-American preemptive plan in order to put an end to the question of Palestine.”

The plan calls for the recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital,” although Palestinians want the city’s eastern part as the capital of their future state.

The US president also said under the plan, Israel would be annexing the settlements that it has been building in the West Bank since occupying the Palestinian territory in 1967. This is while all previous foreign-mediated draft agreements between the Palestinians and Israelis as well as repeated United Nations resolutions have mandated Tel Aviv to withdraw behind the 1967 borders.