Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Palestinian leader warns UN on Trump’s ‘Swiss cheese’ peace

Palestinian leader warns UN on Trump’s ‘Swiss cheese’ peace

"This deal is not an global partnership".

The Chairman of the Palestinian Authority's Investment Fund, Mohammed Mustafa, said on Tuesday that there is no plan to develop a gas field off the coast of Gaza in cooperation with an Israeli partner, Anadolu has reported.

"Who among you would accept such a state?" he asked the UN Security Council. Geographically, they span Europe, South Africa, Australia, Canada and Central America.

Bader Rock, an economic policy adviser to the Blair Institute, said the trade feud was a risky business for both sides, especially when Palestinian outrage over the Trump peace plan has led to acts of violence.

"I am fully ready to resume negotiations where we left it with you, Mr. Olmert, under the umbrella of the worldwide Quartet, and not on the basis of the plan of annexation and legalizing settlements and destroying the two-state solution", Abbas said.

Kuwait's parliamentary speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim also rejected the plan, and threw away a physical copy of US President Donald Trump's so-called Deal of the Century, saying it was "destined to die", because "Palestine and Jerusalem will return sooner or later".

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, who was present at the Security Council meeting, denounced Trump's proposal as a "Swiss cheese" deal that would give the Palestinians only a "fragmented state" without control of their airspace, territorial waters or East Jerusalem.

Looking back, this latest attempt to formalize the current situation has been made possible by two distinct geopolitical developments over the last 20 years - or since US President Bill Clinton attempted to broker a tentative peace deal between the two sides. "This does not meet the aspirations of a two-state solution", he said.

Trump's plan "is aimed at eventually making peace between Israel and the Palestinians". "I'm fully ready to resume negotiations where we left off" in 2008, with the involvement of the Quartet - the United Nations, the USA, the European Union and Russian Federation - on the basis of the 1967 borders, he said.

At least three Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces, and an Israeli soldier was seriously wounded in a vehicle ramming in Jerusalem.

"It legitimised what is illegal - settlements and confiscation and annexation of Palestinian land", he said, referring to Israel's illegal settlement expansion project in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Arab League unanimously sided with the Palestinians against the plan, but key US allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia said they appreciated Trump's efforts and called for renewed negotiations.

On Tuesday, 84-year-old Abbas, known informally as Abu Mazen, slammed Trump's map of a future Palestinian state as "Swiss cheese". "This proposal was from one state, supported by another state, to be imposed".

"Even if you have criticisms of specific elements of the plan you must embrace its spirit, this new pragmatic approach to resolve the conflict, but Abbas refuses to be pragmatic", he told the Security Council.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected criticism of the US proposed peace plan and hinted at the possibility that Arab states might entertain the Trump plan even if Palestinians do not.

While Arab League foreign ministers on February 1 rejected the plan, three Gulf Arab states - Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates - were represented at the White House announcement, suggesting that they may be prioritizing ties with the United States and a shared hostility toward Iran over traditional Arab alliances.

After Trump's plan, what choices do Palestinian leaders have?

And though they disagree on how to handle the USA plan, he said Abbas is "a man of peace".

"Only when he steps down can Israel and the Palestinians move forward", Danon said.

Abbas said he is ready to start negotiations under the sponsorship of the Quartet and based on internationally agreed parameters.

"I am serious about what I say".

"We believe in peace and fighting violence", he said. It envisions a disjointed Palestinian state that turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel, siding with Israel on key contentious issues including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements.

Israel and the USA have been optimistic of winning at least muted backing from Arab states traditionally supportive of the Palestinians, with Gulf monarchies united with Israel in their hostility to Iran.

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