Palestinians denounced on Thursday renewed statements by US President Donald Trump that Jerusalem is off the negotiating table and threats to cut all US aid to the Palestinians if they do not return to the negotiating table with Israel.
PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat said In response to comments made by us President Trump in Davos about Jerusalem ” : Those who say that Jerusalem is off the table are saying that peace is off the table.
Erekat said in interview with PNN editor incheef Monjed Jadou that “If Trump insists on taking Jerusalem out of the negotiating table, it means that he has brought peace out of the table”.
He added that there will no peace without Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine saying:” the dignity and rights of Palestinians are neither sold nor bought.
If President Trump wants a real peace process, he needs the credibility that will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state on the borders of,1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital Erekat said.
Erekat also added:”Trump required to show respect to international law and not to encourage violence and extremism or to reward the aggressors represented by the Israeli occupation.
Those who seek peace must realize that the Palestinian people does not sell himself and his dignity for money, explaining that the assistance provided to the Palestinian people through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is not a grant but an international responsibility in accordance with UNRWA’s international resolutions, which state that the Agency is responsible for meeting the needs of Palestinian refugees Until their case is resolved.
“Trump could buy many things with his money, but he won’t be able to buy the dignity of our nation,” he added.
On the statements made by US envoy to the United Nations, Nicky Hailey, in which she said that the Palestinian president does not have the courage to advance peace, Erekat replied saying:” these statements is blatant and shameless”.
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Posted by PNN Network on Thursday, January 25, 2018
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, told reporters in Ramallah that the US “policy of threats, starvation and capitulation will not work with the Palestinian people.”
“The issue of Jerusalem is a sacred one. It is the key to war and peace in the region. It is not for sale with all the money in the world and the threat of cutting aid to UNRWA is totally unacceptable,” he said.
Abu Rudeineh was referring to the US decision earlier this month to cut $65 million from the US annual contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to punish the Palestinians for refusing to accept the US and Israeli conditions for negotiations that include taking Jerusalem off the negotiating table.
Abu Rudeineh reiterated the Palestinians’ commitment to peace based on United Nations General Assembly and Security Council resolutions as well as the decisions of the Arab summits and the Arab Peace Initiative that support the two-state solution for establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“Unless the US administration retracts its decision regarding the occupied city of Jerusalem, it will have no role in the peace process. If Jerusalem is off the table, then the US will be off the table as well,” he stressed.
Trump met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday.
Ahead of their meeting, Trump said that that the U.S. had taken Jerusalem off the negotiating table and seemed to threaten Palestinians to return to peace talk or run the risk of losing financial support from the U.S.
Trump claimed that the Palestinians “disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them, and we give them hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support, tremendous numbers, numbers that nobody understands.
“That money is on the table. That money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace” with Israel, he said.
Trump’s statement that Jerusalem is “off the table” contradicts what he himself said and what his vice president recently told Israelis: that the U.S. decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital will not influence the final status of its borders.
The U.S. president also said that he has “a proposal for peace,” adding that “We have a great proposal for the Palestinians, it covers a lot of the things we discussed over the years.”
However, Trump then noted that the U.S. had taken the issue of Jerusalem out of the talks. “You could never get past Jerusalem, we got it off the table,” he said. “I hope the Palestinians want to make peace.” He then added: “We give them tremendous amounts. That money is on the table. Why should we do that, if they’re doing nothing for us.”