Erekat: No Negotiations with Jerusalem Decision in Place

Lester Mason
January 14, 2018

Palestinian officials on Sunday said they had been making an effort to gain European Union's (EU) recognition of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, after the USA recognised Jerusalem as Israeli capital.

Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat in the Senate Appropriations Committee, who announced: "Only this White House would be so cynical and delusional to think after needlessly inciting the Palestinians' outrage over Jerusalem, that cutting off aid for Palestinian refugees would force their leaders to negotiate a peace agreement".

President Donald Trump's suggestion to cut funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to the Palestinians is a serious mistake both politically and morally ("Palestinians, Israelis oppose US aid threat", January 4).

Netanyahu voiced a common Israeli criticism that UNRWA was created specifically for the Palestinians, while the UNHCR deals with the rest of the world's refugees.

The top PLO official revealed that the upcoming PLO Central Council meeting will "define the relationship with Israel in all its aspects and how to confront the US decision".

Speaking with Sputnik Radio's Loud & Clear about Trump's threat to axe funding to the Palestinians, cofounder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abumimah, said it would be important to determine whether the funding cuts would hit UNRWA or the Palestinian Authority.

Last December, Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and chose to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the disputed city.

Driving that new reality is the adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" - in this case Israel being the friend that could be an irreplaceable piece of a new coalition put in place to fight Iran and its terror proxies which threaten Sunni Muslim states including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Israel has often criticized UNRWA of sheltering terrorists and perpetuating the plight of Palestinians throughout the Middle East by allowing them to maintain their status as refugees.

"We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect", Trump tweeted.

Amid the political hysteria surrounding Steve Bannon and President Donald Trump, another crisis is brewing in Israel and occupied Palestine.

At the end of December, a majority of the UN General Assembly rejected the USA decision, while the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called on "all countries to recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital".

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the ministerial meeting would also discuss Washington's role in future Arab-Israeli peacemaking that members states said was now jeopardised by what they see as US bias towards Israel.

"The Jerusalem issue must be resolved on the basis of a just and lasting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and internationally recognized decisions based on a two-state solution", the statement added. "(W) ith the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"

The situation has become even more critical as a result of Trump's decision late past year to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

An worldwide research institute funded by the Norwegian government recently examined if Israeli Arabs should be integrated into the PLO in order to increase their involvement in the Palestinians' struggle against Israel.

Terror group Hamas said Trump's move was a "declaration of war" and called for an Intifada.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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