Palestinian president to speak against Trump's Middle East peace plan at UN Security Council meeting

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to speak before the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to express his criticism and opposition to the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan.

On Monday council members could not agree on a draft resolution, a setback for Abbas, who in the past few weeks has been traveling the globe in an attempt to scrub the deal.

Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, told reporters Abbas should cancel his presentation and speak to Israelis in Jerusalem about his plans for peace.

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Danon said he did not understand why Abbas was coming to New York this week to dismiss the peace plan.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks after a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2020. President Abbas said "a thousand no's" Tuesday to the Mideast peace plan announced by President Donald Trump, which strongly favors Israel. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks after a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2020. President Abbas said “a thousand no’s” Tuesday to the Mideast peace plan announced by President Donald Trump, which strongly favors Israel. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

“[Abbas should] cancel his trip to New York (and) come to Jerusalem speak in the Israeli Knesset to address the Israeli people and deliver a message of hope instead of a message of hate and incitement,” Danon said.

Danon’s comments echo those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who alongside Israel’s main opposition leader, Benny Gantz, gave their full support to the Trump plan late last month as it was presented at the White House. Danon said Netanyahu would be ready to meet Abbas in Jerusalem or Ramallah.

The Trump plan, which was released on Jan. 28, called for a two-state solution with the creation of a future Palestinian state. Under the plan, the Palestinians would have to reach certain benchmarks to achieve statehood, including rooting out terrorism, political reforms such as freedom of speech and ending what’s known as “pay to slay,” in which the Palestinian Authority has paid families of terrorists.

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The blueprint was backed up by an economic plan presented last year in Bahrain. The plan’s vision was to present the Palestinians and its neighbors a way to a new economy that could be worth up to $50 billion in aid, investment and funding. Abbas has rejected both parts of the administration’s peace plan.

In his upcoming speech to the security council, Abbas is reportedly going to present a list of what the Palestinians say are the many Israeli violations of international law (around 300) and present his own proposal for peace.

Just last week Jared Kushner, a senior advisor to the president and architect of the plan, told Fox News that Abbas was consulted. He said they had met four times.

“It’s a funny notion when [critics] say that the Palestinians complain that they were not consulted,” he told Fox News. “I never felt he was willing to get into details because either he’s not a details-orientated person, or because he did not know what he wanted to accomplish… and so they chose not to meet with us again which was their prerogative. They said, if you give us this we’d do a meeting, but we don’t pay for meetings, that’s not how this administration handles their policy.”

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Kushner, who was visiting New York to brief members of the U.N. Security Council on the peace plan, told a small group of reporters that the council members had listened closely in what he said was a constructive meeting. He said he was hopeful the US would do better in a vote on his plan than it did when it had to veto a resolution condemning the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The vote was 14-1.

Several hours after Kushner’s meeting, the Foreign Policy website broke a story quoting diplomats who stated Tunisia had recalled its Security Council ambassador over the text of the draft resolution.

The text drafted by Tunisia and Indonesia stated the Trump peace plan was a breach of international law. According to the report, the United States had complained about the text and pressured Tunisia into taking action, which they did.

Following the Tunisia incident, a second draft was introduced but was also rejected by some members.

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This weekend Israeli media quoted close associates of Abbas as calling for a diplomatic intifada against the Trump plan, but the Palestinian action that sort to kill off the U.S. peace plan has not so far materialized having encountered an unforeseen roadblock at of all places the U.N. Security Council.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 10 a.m. President Abbas is expected to be the third speaker of the morning session following the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly, John Roberts contributed to this report. 

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