Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki on Thursday announced that Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will use his speech to the United Nations General Assembly next month to announce his categorical rejection of President Trump’s offer of the “Deal of the Century,” Ma’an reported Thursday.
Speaking on Voice of Palestine radio, Malki said that after Abbas will declare the US was unfit to be the honest broker in the peace process—for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announcing plans to take away the right of return to Israel from the descendants of Arab refugees—the chairman will call for an international peace conference with a multilateral mechanism for implementation, as an alternative to American mediation.
Malki said that “the Palestinian leadership will take steps to mobilize support for the [chairman’s] speech.”
On Wednesday, sources close to the chairman reported that his health continues to deteriorate, and that he suffers from memory loss, including losing familiarity with his surroundings. Abbas spends only an hour or two in his office each day, and, according to those sources, often finds it hard to identify people who have been close to him for decades, or forgets their names. A doctor has been assigned to accompany him at all times.
Meanwhile, Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said on Thursday that “the Palestinian people alone are entitled to decide their own destiny and choose their legitimate leadership,” WAFA reported.
Abu Rudeinah’s statement came in response to US peace envoy Jason Greenblatt’s threat that “the Palestinian Authority should be part of the solution for the Palestinians of Gaza and Palestinians as a whole. If not, others will fill that void.”
Greenblatt’s statement referred to American plans to focus on investing in improving the dire economic stress of the residents of Gaza outside of the Hamas’ purview. The US envoy was expressing his frustration with Abbas’ deliberate sabotage of the emerging truce between Hamas and Israel, as well as with the PA’s repression of Gazans through withholding government employees’ salaries and severely curbing power service.
According to Abu Rudeinah, the US attempt to divide and conquer the PA and Hamas leaderships is part of “the plot to liquidate the Palestinian cause, and turning it from the cause of a people who want freedom and independence into a humanitarian cause.”
Which, to be honest, is precisely what President Trump’s team is attempting to do, after seven decades of an impasse on that freedom and independence thing, with harrowing humanitarian consequences.