Palestine, Israel clash at UN over Trump’s Middle East plan

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on Tuesday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York rejected the Middle East peace plan of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Addressing members of the UN Security Council, Abbas dismissed the proposal as a gift to Israel, saying it was unacceptable to the Palestinian people.

In January, Trump unveiled the long-delayed Middle East plan, which proposes a “disjointed Palestinian state’’ that turns over large parts of the occupied West Bank to Israel.

The Palestinian leader called on Trump to drop the plan and push for negotiations based on existing UN resolutions that call for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 border lines.

He also urged the Security Council to hold an international conference to implement a settlement between both sides.

Abbas decried the proposal as a deal from one state supported by another state to be imposed on Palestinians rather than an international partnership.

But Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said Abbas was not interested in peace in the Middle East.

He said if the Palestinian leader was ready for peace, he would have used the Trump’s plan as an opportunity to engage Israel in direct negotiations rather being at the UN to argue.

“If President Abbas was serious about negotiating, he would not be here in New York; he would be in Jerusalem.

“Instead he did what he has always done: he came here to distract from his unwillingness to negotiate, to sit down, to speak.

“President Abbas refused to be pragmatic. He refuses to negotiate. He is not interested in finding a realistic solution to the conflict,” he said.

Earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the course of peace in the Middle East required political will from both Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Guterres said the UN had made its position on the matter known through the years by resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly that propose a two-state solution.

He reiterated his full personal commitment and that of the organisation to supporting the parties in their effort to achieve a two-state solution.

“The UN remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements.

“We support the vision of two states — Israel and Palestine — living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines.

“Rest assured of the full commitment of the UN to a just and comprehensive peace between Palestinians and Israelis based on our shared multilateral framework set by UN resolutions and international law,” he said. (NAN)