Abbas at United Nations gives muted rejection to Trump 'annexation' plan

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President Mahmoud Abbas - appearing before the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday - angrily denounced US President Donald Trump's recently-unveiled Middle East peace proposal as a gift to Israel and unacceptable to Palestinians.

Abbas called the US proposal "an Israeli-American pre-emptive plan in order to put an end to the question of Palestine" and said the disjointed Palestinian state envisioned in the USA plan is "like a Swiss cheese".

It would also create a Palestinian State that would, in effect, look "like a Swiss cheese", he added, with so many Israeli settlements remaining. "Who among you will accept a similar state and similar conditions?"

The Palestinians have sought to rally worldwide support against the plan, which Trump unveiled alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has since moved forward on plans to annex vast parts of the West Bank.

The opinion survey found that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza also oppose it. "Who will be the partner from the Israeli side - we will know later this year", he concluded, referring to the upcoming March elections.

Trump's Mideast plan, announced at the White House on January 28, sides with Israel on virtually all of the most contentious issues of the decades-old conflict.

The Palestinian leader said the United States can no longer be the sole Middle East mediator.

"Some insist that this deal is just".

Looking back, this latest attempt to formalize the current situation has been made possible by two distinct geopolitical developments over the last 20 years - or since US President Bill Clinton attempted to broker a tentative peace deal between the two sides.

"I am serious about what I say".

The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday rejected the peace plan that was recently unveiled by the USA administration.

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

Most countries consider Israeli settlements on land captured in and after 1967 to be a violation of worldwide law.

Abbas' chief negotiator Saeb Erekat explained further how the Palestinians could navigate between Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Trump administration deal that falls far short of their demands.

The former Israeli premier insisted that in the end, peace could only come from direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Its representative stressed that any steps toward annexation would not be recognised by Berlin or its European partners.

Protesters, some of whom were bussed in, carried Palestinian flags and signs condemning the plan, saying Jerusalem was not for sale. And while groups like the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have officially come out against the deal, the deal has buy-in from some Arab governments, as proven by the presence of ambassadors from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman at the White House unveiling of the proposal. "I am prepared to stay here in the headquarters of worldwide legitimacy to begin these negotiations immediately", he said.

Still, the United Kingdom stressed that any unilateral action "by any parties" would be condemned, highlighting London's opposition to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

"If President Abbas was serious about negotiating, he wouldn't be here in NY, he would be in Jerusalem", said Danon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected criticism of the US proposed peace plan and hinted at the possibility that Arab states might entertain the Trump plan even if Palestinians do not.

"This is not Swiss cheese".

Back in the late 2000s, it was led by Britain's statesmanlike ex-prime minister Tony Blair and brought together the powerhouses of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russian Federation with genuine hopes of cutting a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

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