Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas added coals to the fire on Wednesday in a speech from Cairo where he attended a summit on Jerusalem at Al Azhar University, the seat of 1,000 years of Sunni Islamic knowledge and learning.
The PA leader reiterated his howls of outrage from the podium over President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – which he referred to as a “sin” – vowing never to allow the U.S. to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ever again.
He said the PA demands “only 22 percent of historical Palestine” and rejected out of hand the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“We won’t accept this,” he said. “Not from Trump, not from the United States, and not from anyone else. Jerusalem is our capital,” he insisted.
But Abbas also issued an ominous threat from Cairo.
“Jerusalem would be a gate for peace, only when it’s the capital of Palestine. But it is also a gate for war, insecurity and instability if it isn’t [the capital of Palestine]. Trump has to choose,” he warned.
“We are sticking to peace as a choice for our people but not peace at any cost: one that is based on international decisions that ensure the establishment of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders,” Abbas said.
He claimed – as he did earlier in the week in his speech at the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Committee gathering – that Palestinian Authority Arabs are facing a “great conspiracy” that dates back to “long before” the Balfour Declaration in 1917.
“We are confronting a great conspiracy… It is a colonial conspiracy to plant a foreign body in Palestine for the benefit of the West,” he said.
Abbas reached for the stars, however, in his bid to establish historical precedent for being ahead of the Jews: “We’ve been here for 5,000 years, from the days of the Canaanites who built Jerusalem. We are the Canaanites,” he insisted.