Abbas slams US, others in defiant speech

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appears to have confirmed reports that the Trump administration has ear...

Posted: Jan 15, 2018 12:15 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2018 12:15 PM

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appears to have confirmed reports that the Trump administration has earmarked Abu Dis, a town adjacent to Jerusalem, as the capital of a future Palestinian state, during a speech to the PLO Central Council.

"Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Palestine," Abbas told delegates at a meeting on Sunday called to discuss the United States' recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "We are at a critical moment and our future is in danger ... we are currently being offered Abu Dis as our capital."

Previous US administrations have hewed to the international consensus that East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City and its key religious sites, would be the capital of any Palestinian state.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Abbas' remarks.

The two-day meeting in Ramallah included all Palestinian factions except Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are not members of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Attendees are expected to discuss ramifications of the US' recognition and strategies, according to official news agency Wafa.

Abbas' address had been seen as an opportunity to chart a Palestinian course forward in the light of Trump's announcement last month on Jerusalem.

"I call on the Central Council to revise all the agreements signed between the PLO and Israel because Israel has brought these agreements to a dead end," said Abbas.

"Israel has ended the Oslo agreement" so the PLO Central Council must decide "where should we go from here?"

Even so, Abbas reaffirmed his commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"We are committed to resolving the two states on the basis of international legitimacy, the Arab peace initiative, and the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders," he said.

He also said he advocated only "peaceful popular resistance."

Addressing the future role of the United States in the peace process, Abbas said: "We will not accept the US as a mediator after what they did."

He singled out two individuals for particular criticism: "The American ambassador to Israel [David Friedman] and [the US Ambassador to the UN] Nikki Haley bring shame on the administration, if it has any self-respect."

In an apparent swipe at Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, seen as receptive to the Trump administration's plans for the Middle East, Abbas said: "We do not interfere with the affairs of Arab countries and we do not accept anyone interfering in our own affairs." Singling out one country that he accused of playing an underhand role, but chose not to name, he said: "Stay away from us."

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was among the first Israelis to react, branding Abbas' address an "extremist speech."

"We are not giving up on a country with a Jewish majority and a border between us and them," she said on Twitter. "To there we have to advance, with or without the Palestinians."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
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Tate279062
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Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
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Simpson241471
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George203539
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Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
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Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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