Palestinian President Abbas rails against Trump peace plan at UN meeting
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed his rejection of Donald Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan at the 2020 United Nations Security Council in New York on Tuesday, as demonstrations against the so-called Deal of the Century took place in the Palestinian territories.
Calling for alternate negotiations with Israel, Abbas maintained that Trump's plan "cannot achieve peace and security", nor does it "meet the aspirations of a two-state solution".
The head of the Palestinian Authority also held up a map chronicling the dwindling Palestinian territories."These are our lands, these are our disputed lands, what gives you the right to annex these lands," said Abbas.
"You will destroy any opportunity for peace."
Israel's Permanent Representative to the UN Danny Danon was unmoved at Abbas' speech, accusing the Palestinian president of refusing to negotiate.
"If President Abbas was serious about negotiations, he wouldn’t be here today," said Danon. "He would be in Jerusalem or in Washington sitting down with his negotiating partner."
"President Abbas is not serious about negotiations or about peace," he added. "He came here to distract from his unwillingness to negotiate, to sit down, to speak."
US ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft echoed President Trump’s vision of his Middle East Peace Plan as a positive resolution and an "opening offer".
UK Permanent Representative to the UN Karen Pierce reiterated the UK's "serious concerns" regarding further annexation of the West Bank by Israel.
Pierce stated that "any such unilateral moves would be contrary to international law and damaging to renewed efforts to restart peace negotiations".
Hours before Abbas addressed the UN, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated against Trump's Deal of the Century peace plan.
An estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Palestinians gathered in central Ramallah, home of the Palestinian government, for a demonstration led by prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, AFP reported.
A few hundred demonstrators later protested near an Israeli military checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, where clashes broke out between stone-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers firing tear gas.
Twelve Palestinians were injured, including two shot by rubber bullets, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.
In the besieged Gaza Strip, around 2,000 people demonstrated in Gaza City in support of Abbas' UN speech in a show of inter-party unity against Trump and Israel.
President Abbas referred to the protests in his UNSC speech. "Look at what is happening now in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," said Abbas. "100,000 people took to the street [...] to say no to this deal."