Kushner points finger at Abbas as post-Trump peace plan violence spikes

Kushner points finger at Abbas as post-Trump peace plan violence spikes
Trump's senior advisor alleged the Palestinian president was 'surprised with how good' Trump's plan was for Palestinians, but called for violence anyway.
3 min read
07 February, 2020
Kushner has continuously attacked Palestinians for rejecting his plan that heavily favours Israel [Getty]
President Donald Trump's son-in-law and architect of the widely criticised US peace plan for the Middle East, Jared Kushner, has blamed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas for a spike in violence in the Palestinian territories and Israel following the unveiling of the proposal.

Kushner, whose plan was unanimously rejected by the Palestinians for heavily favouring Israeli demands, said Abbas "does have a responsibility" for the escalation in unrest after the unveiling on 28 January.

"He calls for days of rage in response and he said that even before he saw the plan," Kushner told reporters after briefing UN Security Council members behind closed doors in New York.

"He rejected the plan before he even saw it," Kushner added.

Trump's senior advisor also claimed Abbas was "surprised with how good the plan was for the Palestinian people".

"But he locked himself into a position before it came out and I don't know why he did that," he added.

The Palestinian Authority rejected Kushner's accusations of incitement on Friday, linking the violence instead to Trump's so-called 'Deal of the Century' itself, which gives Israel the green light to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, while retaining overriding control over security, border checkpoints and air and maritime space over isolated cantons proposed to make up a Palestinian mini-state.

"Those who introduce plans for annexation and apartheid and the legalisation of occupation and settlements are the ones who bear full responsibility for deepening the cycle of violence and extremism," senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

Three Palestinians, including a police officer, were shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, while a car-ramming targeting Israeli troops in Jerusalem wounded 14 people.

Nineteen-year-old Yazan Abu Tabikh was shot dead while protesting a home demolition in the city of Jenin. In a separate incident in the same city, Israeli soldiers shot and killed 25-year-old Tareq Ahmad Badwan, a first lieutenant in the Palestinian police force.

Hours earlier, a 17-year-old Palestinian teenager was shot dead during protests in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

A spokesman for Abbas blamed Trump's peace proposal for the unrest.

The Palestinian president has vociferously denounced the US peace plan, calling it the "the slap of the century" which the Palestinian people will send "to the dustbins of history".

In his two-hour meeting with the Security Council, Kushner added his assessment that the international community "has grown very tired” of the Palestinians' behaviour.

Kushner described the two-hour-long talks with the Council's 14 other members as "very constructive."

Abbas is set to arrive in New York City on Monday and address the UN Security Council on Tuesday on the US plan.

While in New York, Abbas will hold a press conference with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service on Friday.

Olmert is slated to express his opposition to the peace plan, and reiterate that he and Abbas almost signed their own peace deal in 2009 but the process was cut short when Olmert was forced to leave office over corruption allegations.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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