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Palestinians angry as US plans to unveil ‘deal of century’


Leading Palestinian groups have pledged to reject the Trump administration’s “deal of the century” after reports emerged that the United States is soon to publish the plan purporting to end the Middle East conflict.   

While little is known about the plan, leaks have suggested that it regards Jerusalem al-Quds entirely as Israeli territory, whereas Palestinians view the eastern sector of the occupied city as the capital of their future state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday rejected the plan and decried what he called efforts to separate the West Bank from the Gaza Strip.

“The ‘deal of the century’ will not pass and the fate of the land of Palestine will be decided by the Palestinian people,” Abbas said in a recorded speech aired on Palestine TV.

Abbas said he would only accept a deal that secures “the independence and the sovereignty of the Palestinian people on their land in the 1967 territories with East al-Quds as its capital.”

His speech came as Israel’s Channel 10 television reported that President Donald Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt had said the US would soon release the “peace” plan.

In Gaza, Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said the resistance movement would never allow the “deal” to be implemented.

He said weekly protests held near an Israeli fence separating the occupied territories from Gaza would be held with the aim of thwarting the “deal of the century.”

“We ask the Palestinian Authority to allow the ‘Great March of Return’ protests reach the West Bank and be held there,” Abu Zuhri added.

The Hamas official also called on Palestinian Authority leaders to cut their contacts with the US and the occupiers.

Abbas has described Trump’s plan as “the slap of the century” and boycotted the US administration since December 2017 when Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.

On Saturday, Abbas said Palestinians were in “one of the most dangerous stages” in their history since the “conspiracy” of the Balfour Declaration, a 1917 statement pledging British backing for a Jewish state in historic Palestine.

Palestinians will only accept a deal that establishes a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with a capital in East al-Quds, Abbas said, adding that “the occupation will end.”

“We will remain on our land and continue to act. We adhere to our principles. Our flag will continue to be raised on the walls of al-Quds,” Abbas added.

The Palestinian president further underlined the need for preserving national unity and stressed that any attempt to separate the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip from the West Bank was doomed to failure.

“Our national unity is the most precious thing we have, and it is our strongest weapon to face the liquidation projects and conspiracies that are being waged against our national cause,” he said.

Abbas also touched on the recent US halt to funding for the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), saying, “No one can take measures against the UNRWA or try to question the numbers of refugees, as a prelude to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.”

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