Washington: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has apparently announced that his countrymen would no longer work with American peace negotiators in the wake of United States President Donald Trump‘s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6.
According to Vox News, speaking to a conference of Muslim leaders in Istanbul, Abbas called Trump’s decision a “crime” that left the US unqualified to continue in its historic role as the main international arbiter in the conflict.
The role, he said, should now go to the United Nations.
The leaders at the conference further asked the international community to recognise East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
In the days leading up to Trump’s announcement last week, Abbas said recognising Jerusalem as Israel‘s capital and moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv would have grave consequences “for the peace process and security and stability in the region and world.”
Meanwhile, a public opinion poll published on Wednesday by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research found that more than 90 per cent of Palestinians rejected Trump’s announcement and that 70 per cent of those polled want Abbas to step down.
When Trump and Abbas had met back in May at the White House, Trump assured the press that the Palestinian leader would soon be back in Washington to sign a peace deal with the Israelis.
For the unversed, Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed that half of the city.
Though Israel’s parliament and the prime minister’s home are in Jerusalem, they sit in West Jerusalem, the side of the city Israel has controlled since 1949.