Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday implied the recent terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem are a result of the recently unveiled U.S. peace plan, saying President Donald Trump's proposal will be foiled "whatever the sacrifices might be."
The violence began late Wednesday, when a Palestinian motorist slammed his car into a group of Israeli soldiers, wounding 12. Some hours later, two Palestinians were killed by IDF forces in the West Bank clashes and another attack took place in Jerusalem after the perpetrator opened fire at police officer stationed at the entrance to Jerusalem's Old City.
"We warned of this more than on multiple occasions and made clear that any initiative that won’t realize the rights of the Palestinian people and won’t strive for a just and comprehensive peace, will eventually lead to the escalation we can see today,” a spokesman for Abbas, told the official Palestinian news agency.
He said the "Deal of the Century" created "an atmosphere of escalation and tension with its attempt to assert fake facts on the ground.”
"The Palestinians and their leadership will contend with all the schemes and will foil them as we foiled all the previous ones.”
In the meantime, Hamas praised the surge of violence earlier in the day, saying in a statement that “the revolution raging in the West Bank cities and in Jerusalem is the implementation of the Palestinian people’s decision to expel the occupation from the West Bank and free it of settlers.”
Tensions in the region have soared following last week's release of the Mideast initiative, which the Palestinians say favors Israel and was laregely rejected by the Arab world. The violence put the plan on even shakier ground and raised fears of another extended round of fighting in the decades-old conflict.
The plan would allow Israel to annex all of its settlements and large parts of the West Bank - sparking calls from Israeli nationalists to do so immediately. In return it would grant Palestinians limited autonomy in scattered enclaves surrounded by Israel, but only if they meet very challenging conditions.