More than 100,000 Palestinians have sent US President Donald Trump letters, imploring him not to withhold US support from the idea of founding a Palestinian state. Arab media website Al-Monitor reported that the wide scale campaign was organized by Youth Centre for Development and Innovation Arab in the West Bank city of Nablus, and that the center had gathered the letters for 11 days, starting on January 20—the day of Trump's inauguration.
The initiative had collected the letters of young Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as from Syrian refugees and Lebanese nationals. "All of the letters focused on the Palestinians’ right to freedom and self-determination, putting an end to the occupation as well as implementing the international law resolutions and international conventions and treaties related to the Palestinian cause," said the center's director, Mohammed Abu Ras.
"The letters call on Trump to stand by the principles of democracy and human rights, all the while committing to and defending international legitimacy by finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause," added Abu Ras.
Ahmed Jamil Azam, who runs the Faculty of Arts and International Studies at Birzeit University near Ramallah, said the letters aim "to explain to President Trump the positive and political position that Palestinians have of the peace process. Additionally, they aim to show the president that position that lean in favor of Israel will have consequences on the peace process, the two-state solution and the region in general."
The campaign, as stated, had gathered letters for Trump prior to his meeting last Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu, in which Trump had declared that he is not committed to a two-state solution. Rather, the American leader broke with his predecessors by saying that while such an accord may have once appeared to be the "easier of the two" options he would be open to alternatives if the two sides propose something better.
The Arab League issued a sharp response to Trump's statement on Thursday, spelling out its unshakeable commitment to a two-state solution to resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and warning of the dire consequences involved in moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict required a two-state solution after Trump was less emphatic about the prospect for such a conclusion to the conflict and the US’s unwavering commitment to Palestinian statehood.
"It requires a comprehensive and just settlement based on a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on ... 1967 borders with its capital in Jerusalem," Egypt's state news agency quoted Aboul Gheit as saying after meeting the UN chief António Guterres in Cairo.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres had also warned against abandoning the idea of a two-state solution following Trump's joint press conference with Netanyahu. "There is no alternative solution for the situation between the Palestinians and Israelis, other than the solution of establishing two states, and we should do all that can be done to maintain this," Guterres said on Wednesday during his Cairo visit.