(January 30, 2020 / JNS) Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas sent a handwritten letter in Arabic to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, telling the Israeli leader that the P.A. no longer saw itself a party to any agreements with Israel following the publication of the Trump peace plan on Tuesday.
According to a report by Channel 12, a delegation led by P.A. Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh met with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, delivered the letter and announced that the P.A. views the U.S. peace plan, aka the “deal of the century,” as a voiding of the Clinton-era Oslo Accords, freeing the P.A. from all its commitments to Israel under those agreements, including security cooperation.
“The plan is an American and Israeli disavowal of the Oslo accords, and so the Palestinian Authority now sees itself as free to disregard the agreements with Israel, including security cooperation,” Abbas wrote in the letter, according to the report.
Kahlon is scheduled to present the letter to Netanyahu when the prime minister returns from a trip to Russia on Thursday, where he will meet recently freed Israeli backpacker Naama Issachar and escort her back to Israel.
Speaking to senior Palestinian leaders, including representatives of the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups, at P.A. headquarters in Ramallah on Tuesday, Abbas said, “We say a thousand times: No, no and no to the ‘deal of the century.’”
The U.S. plan was “the clap of the century” and “will not come to pass,” said Abbas, adding that “our people will send it to the dustbins of history.”
During the meeting between Kahlon and al-Sheikh, the latter revealed that President Donald Trump had attempted to make contact with Abbas at least twice prior to the release of the plan, but that Abbas had refused all overtures.
Abbas is scheduled to visit the United Nations and address the Security Council sometime in the next two weeks, said Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour on Wednesday.
During the visit, Mansour said Abbas would attempt to pass a draft resolution against the peace plan—a document anticipated to be vetoed by the United States. If the United States vetoes, the P.A. could then call an emergency special session of the General Assembly to vote on a similar resolution, which would be nonbinding but politically significant.
At Abbas’s request, the Arab League will meet in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the U.S. plan.
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