“The US cannot be a mediator or partner in the peace process unless it withdraws its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Erekat demanded. 

By: United with Israel Staff

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said the Palestinians will reject any peace plan proposed by the US and President Donald Trump.

During a meeting with Sweden’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder on Monday, Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator in the failed diplomatic process with Israel, said the “Palestinian stance is firm and that Trump has isolated himself from the peace process following his decision on Jerusalem as capital of Israel and moving US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

The Palestinians have been boycotting Washington since President Donald Trump’s recognitions of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.

Erekat’s remarks were a response to statements made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, when he said that “the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem remain subject to negotiations between the parties, and we remain committed to achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future for both Israel and the Palestinians.”

Pompeo added that “by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the seat of its government, we’re recognizing reality.”

Erekat wondered how peace could be achieved without discussing the issues of Jerusalem and the so-called refugees. He slammed Pompeo’s statements as “totally flawed.”

“The US cannot be a mediator or partner in the peace process unless it withdraws its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, because it makes no sense for Palestine to be without east Jerusalem as its capital,” he declared.

“No one will deceive us and we will not fall into the illusion that the United States can have any balanced ideas that could lead to the achievement of a real and just peace. Washington has become part of the problem and not the solution,” he added.

Abbas Threatens ‘Difficult Steps’

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas Monday threatened to take “difficult steps” against the US and Israel.

Addressing the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the PLO parliament, Abbas said that “we may be up to difficult steps in our relationship with our neighbors (Israel) and the US, but I am not going to say what they are.”

Concerning any US peace proposal, Abbas affirmed that the Palestinians “will not accept the US as the mediator by itself and will not accept anything it offers.”

“They talked about a deal. We said fine. Then we were surprised to find out that the deal was a slap – an end to the peace process,” he said.

Abbas emphasized that the PA believes in a two-state solution and a minor swap of land “that is equal in quantity and value” and that it will not accept Jerusalem as a capital for two states, if suggested.