By Margaret Besheer
RAMALLAH - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will come to the U.N. Security Council in February to press the Palestinian case against President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan.
Abbas will undertake a round of shuttle diplomacy in the next two weeks, starting Saturday in Cairo at a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers. After that he will meet ministers from the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Non-Aligned Movement, as well as the African Union summit.
"These consultations will be culminated in a visit by President Abbas within the next two weeks to the [U.N.] Security Council, in which he will put before the entire international community the reaction of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership against this onslaught against the national rights of the Palestinian people by the Trump administration," Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters Wednesday.
Mansour said they also hoped to put forward a draft Security Council resolution, although he did not go into details on what it would aim to do.
"Of course, we would like to see a strong, large opposition to this Trump plan, and to reflect the language of the global consensus," Mansour said.
The Palestinians are unlikely to find redress in the Security Council, where the United States holds a veto.
The Palestinian leadership is furious following the release Tuesday of the Trump administration's long-awaited plan for resolving the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump unveiled the proposal, which he has called "the deal of the century," at the White House, standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No Palestinian representative was present at the East Room event.
Abbas rejected the 80-page proposal and its $50 billion in promised economic incentives before even seeing it, saying, "Jerusalem is not for sale. All our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass."
The proposal has had mixed reviews in the region, with representatives of Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates present at the announcement, but other states, such as Iran and Turkey, rejecting it. Saudi Arabia and Jordan were muted in their response.
The U.N. secretary-general said through his spokesman that the U.N.'s position remained rooted in relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
Land swap, rail link
Under the plan, Trump said, the Palestinians will "double" their land, but they must give up about a third of the West Bank to Israel for it to have an eastern border. In exchange, the administration proposes they take two separate pieces of land in the Negev desert. The plan also includes some unusual proposals, including a high-speed rail link between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, according to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
While it gives the Palestinians four years to come to the negotiating table to find a path to statehood, Israel could begin annexing land where Jewish settlements sit as soon as this weekend.
Palestinian Leader to Take Trump's Peace Plan to UNSC
By Margaret Besheer