Trump plan will 'finish off Palestinian cause', PM warns

US president's proposal will dash hopes for an independent state, Palestinians officials say.

    Prime Minister Shtayyeh described Trump's plan as a 'distraction' from domestic troubles [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]
    Prime Minister Shtayyeh described Trump's plan as a 'distraction' from domestic troubles [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

    Palestinian leaders have decried US President Donald Trump's plan for the Middle East as an effort to "finish off the Palestinian cause".

    Trump on Monday held separate meetings with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his election rival, Benny Gantz, in Washington, DC over his long-delayed proposal that has been kept secret.

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    "We reject it and we demand the international community not be a partner to it because it contradicts the basics of international law and inalienable Palestinian rights," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said. 

    "It is nothing but a plan to finish off the Palestinian cause."

    Palestinians fear the plan will dash their hopes for an independent state in the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem, and the besieged Gaza Strip.

    Palestinian leaders say they were not invited to Washington and no plan can work without them.

    Trump said the White House would release his plan at noon (17:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority (PA) called on ambassadors of Arab and Muslim countries to boycott the event where the plan is expected to be unveiled.

    On Monday night, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted by Wafa news agency as saying: "We call on Arab and Muslim ambassadors who have been invited to the unveiling of the deal of the century … not to attend these ceremonies that we consider a conspiracy aimed at undermining the rights of the Palestinian people."

    Abu Rudeineh added that the plan aims to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    Distracting tactics

    Earlier, Shtayyeh said Trump and Netanyahu were using the proposal as a distraction from their domestic troubles.

    Trump was impeached in the House of Representatives last month and is on trial in the Senate on abuse of power charges. Netanyahu faces corruption charges and a national election on March 2 - his third in less than a year. Both deny any wrongdoing.

    "This plan is to protect Trump against being impeached and to protect Netanyahu from going to jail, and it is not a peace plan," Shtayyeh said at a cabinet meeting in Ramallah.

    Palestinian and Arab sources briefed on the draft fear it seeks to bribe Palestinians into accepting Israeli occupation, in what could be a prelude to Israel annexing about half of the West Bank - including most of the Jordan Valley, the strategic and fertile eastern-most strip of the territory.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies