PLO Accuses U.S. of Seeking Overthrow

Saeb Erekat, Palestinian chief negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization. (Flash90)

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat has taken the anti-American rhetoric coming from Ramallah a step further, accusing the Trump administration of seeking to foment an uprising to remove Mahmoud Abbas from the scene, The Times of Israel reported.

Erekat specifically targeted U.S. envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who last week delivered a scathing denunciation of Abbas in a speech at the Security Council.

Haley condemned his “hateful speech” in a recent Palestinian conference, adducing it as proof that Abbas is not interested in peace. Comparing him to a genuine peacemaker, Anwar Sadat, she asked, “Where is the Palestinian Anwar Sadat?…If President Abbas demonstrates he can be that type of leader, we would welcome it. His recent actions demonstrate the total opposite.”

Erekat construed this lament of the lack of Palestinian leadership as calling for a coup.

“She called for overthrowing the democratically elected Palestinian president,” Erekat claimed in an interview with the Palestinian Al-Watan Voice news website.

“This is the president who led the peace process and promoted the principle of the two-state solution,” Erekat said, referring to Abbas. “Now this ambassador is accusing him of lacking courage, and is calling for replacing him.”

He condemned Haley’s “impudence” and demanded that she “shut up.”

Meanwhile, a meeting between Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon that was scheduled for Sunday was called off for unspecified reasons.

Last Tuesday, Kahlon announced that he was going to meet with Hamdallah on Sunday to “advance a number of joint projects.”

The two sides agreed to reschedule the meeting for February 19 in Yerushalayim because of “scheduling issues,” a PA official told the Jerusalem Post, but would not elaborate.

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