Palestinian President: If Balfour Declaration Has Passed, Deal of the Century Will Not
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday vowed to oppose any peace proposal by US President Donald Trump.
Speaking at the opening session of a meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) central council, Abbas pledged: “If the Balfour Declaration passed, this deal (of the century) will not.”
He said Palestinians were facing perhaps the “most dangerous stage” in their history regarding relations with the US, Israeli occupation and Hamas.
The president stated that the council made decisions and it is time to implement them, indicating: “They have not left reconciliation a chance and they have left no way to reach a reconciliation or settlement.”
He asked every members of the council to “put his hand on his heart and his conscience and not be subject to blackmail, bargaining, pressure or to anything,” adding that this is a historical moment of “to be or not to be.”
There was an early legal dispute over the council’s ability to decide to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council. PLC speaker Aziz Dweik stated that any decisions targeting the Council are unconstitutional and invalid.
A Fatah spokesman, Atef Abu Saif, confirmed that the central council has the legal and political jurisdiction over the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) because the council established it.
Hamas refused in advance the central council’s meeting, saying it was separatist and illegitimate, adding that it would not recognize its results.
Several other parties, such as the Popular and Democratic Fronts and the Palestinian National Initiative, boycotted the meeting because of its "exclusivity" in decision-making.
Abbas criticized those who did not attend, wondering why at least 30 people were absent.
He addressed the absentees: “You are a member of the central council and a member of the National Council. This is a mandate, not an honor. You could apologize and not attend.”
The president then condemned those who hold meetings in “cafes or forums or clubs to say, ‘We are boycotting the Central Council.’ Best of all, sir, is to leave this place for good. Leave it for others who can take responsibility or want to take responsibility.”
He asserted that the patriotic way is for figures to attend the meeting and say their opinion freely, but within the framework of the institution.
The president called on the Palestinian people to unite behind the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, in all their places of residence, stating: "We will remain steadfast on our land and adherent to our national rights and constants and will not repeat what happened in 1948 and 1967."
Abbas reaffirmed that there is neither a state in the Gaza Strip nor a state without Gaza, stressing that East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state.
Abbas stressed that Palestine and Jerusalem are not for sale or bargaining, rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders.
He again accused Hamas of wanting the establishment of a temporary state, warning it against continuing with the implementation of the Balfour Declaration and the separation of Gaza from the West Bank.