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Palestinian leader Abbas slams Trump's plan

February 11, 2020

The Palestinian state envisioned by the Trump-backed peace plan looks like "Swiss cheese," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, decrying the initiative at the UN and saying it sides with Israel on nearly all issues.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the UN
Image: Reuters/S. Stapleton

The new US peace plan "cancels out the rights of the Palestinians" and "cannot achieve peace," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said while addressing the UN on Tuesday.

"If you impose peace it will not last, it cannot last," said Abbas, who leads the Palestinian National Authority. 

The plan allows Israel to annex large parts of the Palestinian-controlled West Bank, while giving Palestinians conditional and limited self-rule in areas linked by roads, bridges, and tunnels. It is seen as heavily favoring Israel on nearly all important issues. US President Donald Trump presented it side by side withIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , who has voiced his support — while Palestinians were not party to the talks.

'Swiss cheese'

At the UN on Tuesday, Abbas showed a large map of Israel and Palestine under the terms of the plan and said that the future Palestinian state would look like "Swiss cheese" — notorious for having holes in it.

"We will confront its application on the ground," Abbas said, but later added that Palestinians "will not resort to terrorism." Abbas also called on Trump to disavow the plan and urged the Security Council to hold an international conference on the issue.

Abbas: 'Jerusalem is not for sale'

Abbas warns situation could 'implode'

A poll published on Tuesday showed that 94% of Palestinians reject Trump's plan. Also, 64% now favor a return to armed struggle in response to the plan, according to the survey published by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Read more: Trump's Middle East 'peace plan' delivers neither

At the UN, Abbas warned that violent protests could break out and "the situation could implode at any moment."

"We need hope. Please do not take this hope away from us."

Commenting on Abbas' speech, Israel's UN envoy Danny Danon said that the Palestinian leader "refused to be pragmatic."

"He is not interested in finding a realistic solution to the conflict," Danon said.

dj/msh (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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