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    Bitter Abbas to Trump: We reject your peace ‘deal of the century’

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday said a peace plan being worked on by US President Donald Trump insulted the Palestinians, calling it a slap in the face, and said the Palestinians would not accept any part of it.
    “We told Trump we will not accept his project, the ‘deal of the century,’ which has become the ‘slap of the century,’” said Abbas, expressing Palestinian anger over the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “But we will slap back.”
    “We do not take instructions from anyone, and say ‘no’ to anyone if it is about our destiny, our cause, our country and our people… 1,000 times no,’” he said, opening a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council in Ramallah.
    The meeting, the first in two years, was called to discuss the Palestinian reaction to Trump’s December 6 speech recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in which the US president said his decision merely recognized the reality that Jerusalem already serves as Israel’s capital and was not meant to prejudge the final borders of the city.
    “Jerusalem is Mecca. Jerusalem is Mecca,” Abbas declared, comparing Jerusalem to Islam’s holiest site.
    Abbas, who will turn 83 in March, told his audience this might be the last time they see him at this forum.
    After the Trump declaration, Abbas declared that the US could no longer serve as a peacebroker, and instituted a boycott of the Trump administration, canceling a planned meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence and refusing to meet with US peace envoy Jason Greenblatt.
    Trump’s move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum, while enraging Palestinians and prompting condemnations worldwide.
    “We will not accept America as a sole mediator between us and Israel, after what they have done,” said Abbas on Sunday, adding he would accept only “serious international sponsorship” for peace talks.
    His speech featured bitter criticisms of the US president. In reference to tweets by the US president on January 2, Abbas said, according to a Hadashot TV news translation, that Trump “posted a tweet that said, We’re not going to give the Palestinians financial aid, because they are refusing to negotiate.” He added: “Shame on you. When did we reject the talks? Where is the negotiation that we rejected?”
    “May God demolish your house,” he said of Trump.
    Abbas also slammed two outspoken US officials, Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
    He said he refused offers to meet with Friedman, and slammed the US ambassador for saying there is no such as thing as the “occupation” of Palestine.

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