Palestinian envoy condemns US stance on Gaza protests

Palestinian envoy condemns US stance on Gaza protests
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Palestinian activists collect tyres to be burnt along Israel-Gaza border, in the southern Gaza Strip

Washington: The Palestinian representative in Washington warned Friday that the situation in Gaza is explosive and that the region cannot afford to wait for the promised new US peace plan.

Husam Zomlot, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s envoy to the United States, urged the United States to renew its support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Things are boiling in front of everybody. It’s a pressure cooker. It’s going to explode sooner or later. It’s not like we can wait,” Zomlot told AFP in an interview in Washington.

Zomlot’s office broke off contact with the White House team drawing up a plan for a US-mediated solution to the crisis after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

There is little sign of a plan emerging and protests have erupted in Gaza, where Palestinians have thrown stones over a border fence and Israeli troops have responded with deadly live fire.

The White House has called for Palestinian leaders to keep their supporters back from the border, but has not spoken out against Israel’s use of force, further enraging Palestinians.

“Look at the situation in Gaza,” Zomlot said. “It deserves the US government strongest condemnation and action to uphold international law. We did not see condemnation.”

Zomlot insisted the Palestinians were sincerely happy to work with Trump’s administration and hopeful for peace until he recognized Israel’s claim on Jerusalem.

“If the US administration changes its position and returns to the long-held US policy of a two-state solution on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of a sovereign state of Palestine, yes we will engage,” he said.

“Neither we can wait on the ground there — things are really boiling — nor we can wait for the US to change their position”.

Agence France-Presse