Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, said that the Trump administration was siding with Israel on the core issues of the decades-old conflict, burying all chances for Middle East peace.
JERICHO, West Bank – The United States will not present its long-awaited plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace any time soon and is instead trying to unilaterally change the terms of reference for any future proposal, a senior Palestinian official said on Saturday.
Echoing deep skepticism among the Palestinians, Arab countries and analysts, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, said that the Trump administration was siding with Israel on the core issues of the decades-old conflict, burying all chances for Middle East peace.
“I don’t think they will ever introduce a plan,” Erekat said in an interview with Reuters in Jericho. “The whole world is rejecting their ideas. They are already implementing their plan by changing the terms of reference,” he said.
Doubts have mounted over whether Trump’s administration can secure what he has called the “ultimate deal” since December, when the US President recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and then moved the US Embassy there.
US officials have so far been non-committal about whether their plan would endorse the creation of a Palestinian state beside the state of Israel – the goal of previous rounds of negotiations, the last of which collapsed in 2014.
“They are telling us ‘peace based on the truth’,” Erekat said.
“The Kushner truth and the Netanyahu truth is that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, no right of return to refugees, settlements are legal, no Palestinian state on 1967 (borders) and Gaza must be separated from the West Bank and this is absolutely unacceptable,” Erekat said.
“The only thing this administration did since it came to office is just to take Israelis and Palestinians off the path to peace, off the path of the two-state solution,” Erekat said.