PA rejects ‘something good’ from Trump
Palestinian Authority officials reject US President’s assertion they would get ‘something good’ after embassy move, demand Jerusalem.
Palestinian Authority leaders rejected overtures by US President Donald Trump on Wednesday after he said they would get something “very good” in exchange for his country recognizing
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Senior PA official Ahmad al-Tamimi said the US president’s assertion that he had removed Jerusalem from future negotiations was “a continuation of the US policies in favor of Israel”.
Speaking to official PA news agency WAFA, he added that Trump’s push for a peace deal was impossible without “recognizing east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state”.
The December decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy to the city sparked fury among PA officials, with the political leadership cutting off ties to the US administration.
Speaking to supporters in the United States on Tuesday, Trump again defended the move, saying he had eased future negotiations.
“If there’s ever going to be peace — remember I said it — with the Palestinians, it was a good thing to have done because we took it off the table, because every time there were peace talks they never got past Jerusalem,” Trump said at a rally in the US state of West Virginia.
“And you know what, in the (future) negotiations Israel will have to pay a higher price because they won a very big thing.”
“Now (Jerusalem’s) off the table, there is nothing to negotiate. But they (the PA) will get something very good because it’s their turn next.”
Speaking in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said he hoped the PA leadership would move on from the embassy issue.
“As a dealmaker, as a bargainer, he would expect, you would expect, I would expect that the Palestinians would say ‘ok, great, so we didn’t get that one, now we want something else, and we’ll see how it goes’,” Bolton told journalists as he wrapped up a three-day visit to Israel.
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, rejected Bolton’s comments and said east Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state.
“The words of Bolton are nonsense and don’t correspond to reality,” Erekat said in a statement.
“You cannot talk about peace without Jerusalem being the capital of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders.”