Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has launched a scathing attack on Donald Trump following the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
In a speech to the Palestinian central council on Sunday, Mr Abbas described the move as the “slap of the century” and said the Palestinians would refuse it.
“We said ‘no’ to Trump, ‘we will not accept your project’,” he said, arguing that the actions of the US administration had destroyed its credibility as a broker in talks between Israel and Palestine.
“We can say no to anyone if things are related to our fate and our people, and now we have said no to Mr Trump,” he said.
Mr Abbas also took aim at the US President’s threat to cut off financial support to the Palestinians, following accusations that they had refused to negotiate.
“Shame on you. When did we reject the talks?” he said. “Where is the negotiation that we rejected?”
Talks between Israelis and Palestinians have been mired in failure in recent years as Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank, an area viewed as the potential site of a future Palestinian state, and violence continues between the sides.
Israel’s behaviour had brought an end to the peace process, Mr Abbas said, branding US ambassadors to the UN and Israel Nikki Haley and David Friedman, a “disgrace”.
“I am saying that Oslo, there is no Oslo. Israel ended Oslo,” he said, referring to the accords, signed in the 1990s, that set the terms for peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
Palestinian decision makers have refused to meet Mr Trump since his decision to move Israel’s US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a city claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis.
Control of Jerusalem is considered a final status issue to be decided in negotiations between the parties, and Mr Trump’s embassy move was widely condemned.
Relations between Washington and the Palestinians have sunk to a new low under Mr Trump, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly welcomed his line while pushing for the building of more settlements.
The Trump administration is also reportedly planning to withhold some $60m of a planned $125m contribution to the UN Relief and Works agency which oversees the welfare of Palestinian refugees.