The Arab League has completely rejected US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan during an emergency meeting in Egypt’s capital, saying it would not lead to a just peace deal.
In a statement on Saturday, the pan-Arab bloc said it “rejects the US-Israeli ‘deal of the century’ considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people.”
Arab states also agreed “not to … cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan,” adding that Israel should not implement the initiative by force. They insisted on a two-state solution that includes a Palestinian state based on borders before the 1967 war, when Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. They also called for East Jerusalem to be the capital of the future Palestinian state.
The session was requested by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), who urged Arab nations to take a clear stance against Trump’s proposed plan.
The 181-page proposal was unveiled by Trump last week at the White House as he spoke standing next to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
‘This is a disgrace’
The plan, dubbed by Trump as the “deal of the century”, was presented on Tuesday after being negotiated with Israel but with no input from the Palestinians, who had cut off all ties with the Trump administration after its 2017 decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The proposed plan envisions the Israeli annexation of large swaths of the West Bank, including illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley, giving Israel a permanent eastern border along the Jordan River.
“They told me Trump wants to send me the deal of the century to read, I said I would not,” Abbas told the meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.
“Trump asked that I speak to him over the phone, so I said ‘no’, and that he wants to send me a letter, so I refused to receive it.”
Holding up a map that shows the gradual geographic reduction of Palestine through four stages from pre-1948 to Trump’s Middle East plan, Abbas said: “I challenge any of you, if you can even see us on the map. If you ask a child in first grade to draw Trump’s map he will never know how to.”
“This is a disgrace,” he added.
Abbas also said that he will cut security ties with both Israel and the US: “We’ve informed the Israeli side … that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States, including security ties,” he said.
The Western-backed Palestinian leadership has been under mounting pressure from ordinary Palestinians and its rivals in Hamas to cut off security ties with the two countries, or even dismantle the increasingly unpopular Palestinian Authority.
Reporting from Ramallah, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said many Palestinians there “might not even know that there is an Arab league meeting taking place”.
“It doesn’t seem that the street is holding so much hope,” she said.