Abbas accuses U.S. of trying to create a divide between Gaza and West Bank

By Middle East Affairs

President Abbas on Monday said that Palestine rejects President Trump’s plan to rebuild Gaza because he believes the plan intends to create a divide between Gaza and the West Bank.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, President Abbas’s spokesperson said in a published statement that the U.S was pursuing their rehabilitation plan under the guise of “humanitarian aid or rehabilitation,” but that they really wanted to destroy Palestine.

Palestine accuses the U.S. with working alongside Israel to turn Gaza into humanitarian issues as supposed to a political one, further destroying the prospects of Palestinian statehood.

The statement was a response to a Haaretz article on Sunday, that reported that the U.S. has a plan to rebuild Gaza with funds from Gulf allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

U.S. envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt are set to visit the region in the upcoming days to campaign for their peace plan in the Mideast.

The statement said, “The Palestinian leadership warns the countries of the region against cooperating with a move whose goal is to perpetuate the separation between Gaza and the West Bank and lead to concessions on Jerusalem and the holy sites.”

President Abbas beliefs were expressed in the statement, it reads, “There is no state in Gaza and there is no state without Gaza. On this issue, there’s a Palestinian, Arab and international consensus, and we’re confident that the strength of the Palestinian people will thwart all the plots whose goal is to liquidate the Palestinian issue, and that the Arab world and countries worldwide which support the battle for freedom and liberty will cooperate with the Palestinian people on this issue.”

Palestine has been clear to communicate its messages to other states in the region, mainly Saudi Arabia and Qatar. President Abbas is considering sending his own envoys to the region including Egypt and Jordan, as Kushner and Greenblatt try to win support for President Trump’s peace plan.

The plan outlined by Trump’s administration is similar to a previous plan endorsed by Giora Eiland, a former chairman of Israel’s National Security Council. The plan seeks to make Gaza the heart of Palestine giving it a access to a port and airport out of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. West Bank residents would then be granted more freedom but not be allowed security freedoms.

A Palestinian official said, “The Palestinian leadership rejected this plan out of hand at the time and the Arab states also won’t agree to this under any circumstances.”

The U.S. is currently trying to persuade Gulf countries to invest large sums into helping Gaza rebuild its infrastructure in hopes of simmering down the tense political situation that has been unfolding since the violence spurred by Israel during the Great Return March protests. If all goes according to plan, President Trump will then have gained enough support for his regional peace plan.

Kushner and Greenblatt will be meeting with leaders from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel to discuss aid for Gaza to rebuild. They will be trying to secure funding for economic projects in Gaza.

When asked to comment, the White House denied, saying that it will not discuss any plans before meetings took place.

A source that spoke to Haaretz based on the conditions of anonymity said, “This is an issue that is urgent, and at the same time, can be dealt with relatively quickly. The Americans are counting on the Gulf states to help with the money necessary for solving it.”

 

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