Palestinian president says Israel 'ended' Oslo accords

Hannah Rogers
January 16, 2018

Abbas said USA peace efforts for the Middle East and the Jerusalem decision amounted to the "slap of the century".

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said that Israel is a "colonial project that has nothing to do with the Jews" in a speech of the PLO's Central Committee on Sunday. "We are at a critical moment and our future is in danger. we are now being offered Abu Dis as our capital".

Abbas also responded to White House criticism that the PLO had refused to negotiate on Jerusalem. Israel took control of East Jerusalem in 1967, the section Palestinians claim as the capital of their future state.

The Islamic Jihad official said his group and Hamas agreed that their participation in the meetings won't bring any benefits to the two groups and that the results of the council meetings will be less than expectations.

"Israel has ended the Oslo agreement" so the PLO Central Council must decide "where should we go from here?"

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"We are committed to resolving the two states on the basis of worldwide legitimacy, the Arab peace initiative, and the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders", he said.

On Tuesday the Swedish ambassador to the United Nations, Olof Skoog, said he was concerned that a withdrawal of funding for UNRWA "would be very negative both in terms of humanitarian needs of over 5 million people but also of course it would be destabilizing for the region".

Abbas had previously said the United States could no longer play any role in the Middle East peace process after Trump's move.

While Palestinian leaders have been outraged by Trump's moves, they also face hard choices in how to respond as they seek to salvage remaining hopes of a two-state solution to the conflict.

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was among the first Israelis to react, branding Abbas' address an "extremist speech". "To there we have to advance, with or without the Palestinians".

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