Report: Abbas Tirade Touched Off by Peace Plan Preview in Riyadh

YERUSHALAYIM -
The security barrier separating Abu Dis from Yerushalayim.

More details emerged on Tuesday revealing the background to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s vicious tirade against the United States and Israel at the PLO conclave in Ramallah on Sunday.

Pres. Abbas was enraged by a confidential preview of the developing American peace plan given to a PA representative in a special meeting for the purpose held in Riyadh earlier this month, according to Hadashot news. In his Sunday speech, Abbas characterized the plan, said to be highly favorable to Israel, as a slap in the face to the Palestinians.

The plan reportedly calls for: less-than-full statehood for the Palestinians, continued Israeli control over security matters, a permanent IDF presence in the Jordan Valley, land swaps not based on the 1967 borders, no evacuations from Yehudah and Shomron, and an Israeli veto regarding the final status of Yerushalayim, to be negotiated later by the two sides.

Pres. Abbas charged that they want to make Abu Dis, a suburb of Yerushalayim, the capital of the future Palestinian state, and said they would settle for nothing less than having their capital in Yerushalayim.

In a statement responding to the Tuesday report, the White House said it is “regrettable that the Palestinian leadership is looking to create a false impression against an unfinished plan they have not even seen,” according to a Hebrew translation of the statement to Hadashot news.

“We will present our principles directly to Israelis and Palestinians at the right time and under the right conditions,” the White House said.

In the meantime, Pres. Trump’s peacemaking team say they are not deterred by the unprecedented friction between the U.S. and the PA, and are carrying on their work toward readying the plan for presentation to the two sides.

Pres. Trump’s special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Jason Greenblatt, is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Wednesday, and among other things, will take part in meetings with members of the Middle East Quartet – the U.S., Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, Channel 10 reported Tuesday.

Greenblatt is reportedly hoping to restore some calm in relations with the Palestinians. It was not clear how he intends to do that, though, as they continue to refuse any meetings with him or other American officials.