Palestinians won’t be part of Trump’s deal: PLO official

Saeb Erekat

Ramallah : Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat on Sunday said the Palestinians will not take part in any peace deal presented by US President Donald Trump.

Trump isolated himself from the peace process by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and by attempting to drop the issue of Palestinian refugees off the table, Xinhua news agency quoted Erekat as saying.

He made his statement hours ahead of the expected arrival of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Israel.

Erekat added that “the US cannot be a partner or a mediator in the peace process unless it changes its position of recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel because it is meaningless to have a Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital”.

On reports that Trump might present his Middle East peace deal, which may include financial compensation for Palestinians, Erekat said “this is morally unacceptable and Palestine is neither sold nor bought with money”.

The deal might be presented after the inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem in May.

The tension between the Palestinians and the US has been rising since October 2017 and intensified in December when Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the relocation of the US embassy to the city.



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