Palestinians fiercely reject Trump’s ‘conspiracy’ peace plan

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The new Middle East peace plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump has been wholly rejected by Palestinians, calling it a ‘conspiracy’ as it was hatched and launched without their participation.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reacted to Tuesday’s announcement by saying Jerusalem is “not for sale”.

He also reiterated that “All our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain.”

The plan envisage a Palestinian state but also recognition of Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Mr Trump said Jerusalem would remain Israel’s “undivided” capital, but the Palestinian capital would “include areas of East Jerusalem”.

A call for “a day of rage” by political leaders saw hundreds of Palestinian took to the streets on Wednesday.

The Palestinian health ministry said three people were injured by live fire in clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces near Ramallah in the northern West Bank. They are reported to be in stable conditions.

Several people were also injured by rubber-coated bullets during a protest in the village of Abu Dis, in the eastern suburbs of Jerusalem, and one person was hit by a rubber bullet near Arroub camp in the southern West Bank, according to the Palestinian Wafa news agency.

Meanwhile, Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said a cabinet vote on whether to apply Israeli sovereignty to most Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the strategic Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea had been delayed for several days for technical and procedural reasons.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said the vote would take place on Sunday.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

The Jordan Valley is a fertile strip of land running along the border with Jordan that makes up almost 30% of the West Bank. Palestinians say the valley would form an integral part of the land that they want for a future state.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Trump administration had simply “copied and pasted” the steps that Mr Netanyahu wanted to see implemented.

“It’s about annexation, it’s about apartheid,” he said. “Moving to the de jure annexation of settlements is something that was given the green light yesterday.”

Mr Trump’s blueprint for solving one of the world’s longest-running conflicts was drafted under the stewardship of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Speaking on Tuesday, President Abbas said it was “impossible for any Palestinian, Arab, Muslim or Christian child to accept” a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital.

“We say a thousand times, no, no, no,” he said. “We rejected this deal from the start and our stance was correct.”

The militant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, also rejected the deal which it said aimed “to liquidate the Palestinian national project”. (Source: BBC)

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