Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

PLO Calls for UN-Sponsored Conference on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

PLO Calls for UN-Sponsored Conference on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas denounced U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace efforts as the "slap of the century" on Sunday after the White House recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In a statement, the Committee called on the worldwide community to hold an global conference under the auspices of the United Nations for the assurance of the establishment of the Palestinian state with its capital as East Jerusalem.

Palestinian officials have said they will not meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence when he visits Egypt, Jordan and Israel this month.

While welcomed in Israel, Trump's declaration was met with anger by Palestinians, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas saying the United States was no longer an honest broker in peace talks and the Gaza-based terror group Hamas calling for an intifada, or violent uprising. The area sits outside Israel's security barrier and has been floated but rejected as a capital for a Palestinian state in previous negotiations. "We won't accept his project; his deal of the century is the slap of the century, and we will respond".

Since Trump announced nearly a year ago that he hoped to broker the "ultimate deal", Palestinians say his strategy has unraveled because it favors Israel.

"Jerusalem was removed from the table by a tweet of Trump", said Abbas, adding that "the status of Jerusalem is like Mecca".

"We are not giving up on a country with a Jewish majority and a border between us and them", she said on Twitter. Trump threatens to cut funding to the authority because negotiations have failed.

Pic: ReutersRAMALLAH, WEST BANK: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday he would only accept a broad, internationally-backed panel to broker any peace talks with Israel, but did not rule out a US role in such a panel.

Abbas said the Palestinians are at a "critical moment". Abbas said the Palestinian government and its people remain fully committed to negotiating peace in the region.

Abbas' rebukes were not limited to USA officials.

The report comes a day after heightened tensions between Israeli forces and the Palestinians, as clashes erupted across Gaza and the West Bank.

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