The Abba Eban law, “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” has been proven for the umpteenth time, as Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki on Friday announced that President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital—without stating whether it was all of Jerusalem or just its western neighborhoods, “deprived” the United States of the ability to play a role in the peace process.
In a gesture reminiscent of a beggar who yells at a passer-by that he is no longer allowed to throw coins in his empty coffee cup, Minister Al-Malki told a press conference on Saturday evening in Cairo that the US has excluded itself from having a role in the peace process in the region, including its role in the Quartet, because the decision shows the extent of US’s bias towards Israel and against the Palestinian people.
“We came today to attend an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers to discuss the issue of US recognition of Jerusalem and to know what action could be taken. We will ask all countries that recognize Palestine to recognize East Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the state of Palestine, for both Christians and Muslims.”
Al-Malki said that “the state of Palestine rejects the US decision in its entirety and will not deal with it, describing it as illegitimate,” according to a WAFA report Saturday.
He added, “All options are open to the Palestinian leadership to deal with the US move, and we will act at the highest diplomatic, political and legal levels.”
“By making this decision, the US administration transferred itself from the role of mediator to becoming a side in the conflict. This is incompatible with any role the US can play in the peace process,” Al-Malki said, pointing out that Israel had tried to pressure other countries to recognize Jerusalem as its capital.
The minister pointed out that he plans to ask many countries to reject the US decision and deem it illegal, stressing that the silence of some countries is not only unacceptable but is a contribution to the crime. He explained that next Wednesday will a meeting of foreign ministers of Islamic countries is scheduled in Istanbul, at the invitation of Turkey, to be followed by the summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
In addition, it was reported that Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has cancelled his upcoming meeting with US Vice-President Mike Pence who will be visiting Israel and the region later this month.
Hundreds of Arabs demonstrated in Judea and Samaria on Saturday, Israeli media reported. They burned tires, and threw Molotov cocktails and stones at IDF forces, Border Police and the police. The IDF responded with riot control measures to disperse the crowd, six rioters were lightly injured and six were arrested.
In the Gaza Strip, 450 Arabs demonstrated in eight locations along the perimeter fence. There, too, there were violent riots in which the Arabs burned tires and threw stones at the fence and at the soldiers.
The IDF fired at two who were inciting the demonstrators, and one of the rioters near the fence was caught and transferred to the security forces for questioning.
Border Police spokesmen said that special forces snipers targeted seven main instigators at demonstrations in the Gaza Strip.
The defense establishment made it clear that “attempts to harm Israeli sovereignty by terrorist organizations and rioters will lead to a harsh and determined response by the security forces.”
We wish Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki continued success in all his endeavors.