A high-ranking Palestinian official has threatened that the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority would withdraw from key provisions of the Oslo Accords in case US President Donald Trump unveils his so-called deal of the century on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said on Sunday that his organization reserves the right “to withdraw from the interim agreement” if Trump announces his plan.
Erekat added that the Trump initiative will turn Israel’s “temporary occupation (of Palestinian territories) into a permanent occupation.”.
The Oslo Accords — consisting of Oslo I and Oslo II accords — were signed by late chairman of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin respectively in Washington DC, in 1993 and Taba, Egypt, in 1995. The purported goal of the accords was to achieve peace based on the United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and to realize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
The Palestinian foreign ministry issued a statement on Sunday, saying, “The US administration will not find a single Palestinian who supports this project,” adding, “Trump’s plan is the plot of the century to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
According to the statement, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riad al-Malki said the Palestinian leadership is discussing practical steps with Arab countries to respond to the US plan at all levels.
According to Wafa news agency, the statement followed a meeting in Ramallah with Egyptian Ambassador to Palestine, Essam El-Din Ashour, in which the two sides discussed diplomatic moves to face the US administration’s decision to release the so-called deal of the century.
Malki stressed the unwavering position of the Palestinian leadership in rejection of the US administration’s decisions on Jerusalem al-Quds and the so-called deal of the century.
The Palestinian minister also lauded the international consensus on rejection of the US plan.
Meanwhile, Fatah movement also expressed its concerns over the increasing likelihood that the so-called deal of century will be announced without consulting with the Palestinian leadership.
Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazzal said on Sunday that the plan will fail to address Palestinian aspirations for independence and self-determination within a sovereign state of their own.
He underscored that no Palestinian representative has been part of any negotiations with the US administration as regards to Trump’s plan, saying Fatah movement will not support any initiative that excludes Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
“If the plan, as indicated in preliminary reports, recognizes Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel then our movement will strongly oppose it,” Nazzal highlighted.
He then criticized “the disrespectful attitude of the Trump administration” towards the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict such as the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
Nazzal also slammed the US administration’s initiatives, stating that such efforts only deepen the conflict and make it harder to resolve.
The senior Fatah official finally called on the international community, particularly the European Union, to immediately recognize the Palestinian state with Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital within the borders of 1967.
In a related development, head of the Political Bureau of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, emphasized strong opposition of the movement to the so-called deal of the century.
We clearly declare our opposition to the “deal of the century,” which is only a plot, Ismail Haniyeh was quoted by al-Mayadeen news network as saying.
“We firmly declare that the ‘deal of the century’ will not pass. The new plot aimed against Palestine is bound to fail,” and could lead the Palestinians to a “new phase in their struggle” against Israel, Haniyeh said in a statement.
He also announced his movement’s readiness to cooperate with the Fatah and other Palestinian groups to depict a road map for defending Jerusalem al-Quds and to denounce vociferously the so-called US peace plan to make sure that the new colonial plot against Palestinians will never succeed.
Trump is expected to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political rival Benny Gantz at the White House on January 28 to unveil the so-called deal of the century.
Even though the full plan has not been released, Israeli media outlets have described it as a deal that meets nearly all of the Tel Aviv regime’s demands in exchange for the possibility of maybe, someday recognizing a Palestinian state.
“Peace has nothing to do with it,” said Haaretz journalist Amir Tibon.
According to the English-language online newspaper Times of Israel, the deal drastically undermines Palestinian hopes for restoring land seized by Israeli settlements and allows Israel to expand its territory even further.
The US plan on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has already been unanimously rejected by all Palestinian factions.