Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday President Donald Trump ought to be ashamed of himself for saying the Palestinians rejected peace talks.
In a two-hour rebuke of Trump’s Palestinian policy, Abbas told the Palestinian Central Council — the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s decision-making body — he will no longer accept the U.S. as a peace mediator.
“We can say no to anyone if things are related to our fate and our people, and now we have said no to Trump,” Abbas raged. “We told him the ‘deal of the century’ was the slap of the century. But we will slap back.”
Abbas has called for an internationally negotiated peace process instead of one led by the United States.
Trump has frequently called a Middle East peace treaty “the deal of the century.” But his administration’s efforts to revive the long moribund peace talks have so far gone nowhere.
Trump has threatened to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, saying they have walked away from the negotiations.
Abbas challenged Trump for proof of the Palestinians’ refusal to discuss peace. He also accused Israel of tearing up the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords by continued Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank.
The Oslo Accords led to partial self-determination for the Palestinian people, along with the PLO’s recognition of Israel.
But a final two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians has always been elusive.
The Palestinians want the West Bank and east Jerusalem as part of a future independent state. Israel regards Jerusalem as its eternal and united capital.
Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv has infuriated the Palestinians.