TEL AVIV – Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to reject a peace plan presented by the Trump administration, Israeli media reported over the weekend.
Saeb Erekat briefed Abbas on a 92-page document detailing the U.S.’s plan for an independent but demilitarized Palestinian state in which Israel would be in charge of overseeing the West Bank from a security perspective and would keep 10 percent of West Bank territory, Channel 10 reported on Friday. The final borders of a Palestinian state would be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, the report said.
A Palestinian capital would be established in the suburbs of Jerusalem – in all likelihood in the West Bank town of Abu Dis.
Erekat advised the PA president to reject the deal outright, the report said, saying the U.S. had no right to “impose dictates” on how a Palestinian state should look.
The plan would give the Palestinians limited control over areas of Ben Gurion Airport and Israeli sea ports of Ashdod and Haifa, but Israel would maintain security control.
“We have no reason to wait for an American plan that in practice will keep the status quo in place and give American legitimacy to settlements while establishing an eternal autonomy” rather than a fully independent state, the report quoted Erekat telling Abbas in his briefing.
The deal also outlined a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees to return to the newly formed state of Palestine, but there would be no “right of return” for refugees to settle in Israel.
However, White House officials told Channel 10 that the details Erekat mentioned in his briefing were erroneous. They added that it was unfortunate that people were trying to incite the Palestinians against the deal, which had not even undergone a final draft.
Last week, Abbas, in apparent reaction to Erekat’s briefing, said that the Trump administration’s deal was “a slap in the face” for the Palestinians and he cursed out the U.S. chief executive by wishing “ruin upon his house.”
“We told Trump we will not accept his project, the ‘deal of the century,’ which has become the ‘slap of the century,’” said Abbas.
“But we will slap back,” he vowed.
Abbas slung a popular Arabic curse at Trump in response to the American president’s threat to cut U.S. aid to the Palestinians if they “spread lies about the U.S.”
“May your house come to ruin,” Abbas said, espousing an Arabic epithet.