BY LILACH SHOVAL, DANIEL SIRYOTI, NITZI YAKOV AND EREZ LINN, JNS—
Abbas declared that he would not engage with the United States on peace talks after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year and subsequently relocated the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—moves the Palestinian leader maintains illustrate Trump’s pro-Israel bias and disqualify America from acting as an impartial peace broker between Israel and the Palestinians.
The moderate Arab leaders of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have said that given Abbas’s position, they see no other choice but to go over his head and have decided to back Washington’s decision to present the peace plan to the Palestinian people directly.
According to Arab diplomats familiar with the details of the plan, the American scheme includes a long-term cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Gaza-based terrorist groups.
Once the cease-fire agreement proves lasting, a series of economic programs will be implemented to improve the situation in Gaza, where unemployment nears 50 percent. These projects, as well as a series of infrastructural rehabilitation plans, including the construction of a special Palestinian port in Cyprus, will be sponsored by the international community.
The moderate Arab countries have urged Abbas to engage with the Americans, saying that otherwise, he risks rendering his government irrelevant, but to no avail.