Abbas: Trump mocking us, Netanyahu sends aid money to Hamas
Palestinian president says the White House reaffirmed its belief in a two-state solution within '67 borders just days before announcing Jerusalem embassy move; asks the Arab states for a financial safety network in light of PA's growing economic deficit caused by US aid cuts
Speaking at a summit of Arab foreign ministers in Egyptian capital of Cairo, Abbas highlighted the lack of funds to the PA due to US cuts, and asked for a financial safety net that the Arab states have long pledged but never delivered. The 83-year-old added that security cooperation between PA security forces and the CIA continues despite the lack of any diplomatic relations between the Palestinian officials and the Trump administration.
“They are mocking us,” Abbas said, adding that Trump told him about his alleged firm belief in a two-state solution just days before he announced the intention to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.
“We met with Trump several times and were satisfied with what they were telling us up until our fourth meeting, when Trump agreed to say he believes in two states within the 1967 borders," Abbas said. “Two weeks later, however, he announced he’s moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, recognizes the city as Israel’s capital, and cutting the financial aid to UNRWA,” he added.
"We can’t hear about Jerusalem being a part of Israel anymore. Following that crime (the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital) we had to cut off all communication with the American leadership,” said the president. “Although some agreements continue to this day, for instance the international security coordination between the PA and the US as part of the anti-terrorism agreements."
The financial crisis the PA currently finds itself in, is not only due to cuts made by the Trump administration but also as a result of the Palestinian officials refusing to accept monthly payments of NIS 500 million in tax revenue collected on PA’s behalf by Israel (following its decision to trim the sum over the PA's financial support of militants' families). Under interim peace deals, Israel collects taxes in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip and makes monthly payments to the PA.
The financial deficit has resulted in PA paying the government employees - including members of Palestinian security services - only 50 percent of their salaries. "Israel violated all the agreements between them and the Palestinian Authority: the Oslo Accords, the Paris Protocol and the security agreements,” Abbas said.
"The reason why Israel doesn’t respect any of these agreements is the American support," he said. "If this is the case, how will we reach a solution? Through American mediators or through Netanyahu, who believes there is no solution to the Palestinian issue? So I came here to ask you what should we do about this?
“All of this comes in the wake of the settlement expansion and the discourse on the annexation of the West Bank. If Israel was to annex the West Bank, it will become an apartheid regime,” Abbas said. “Should we accept this situation or resist it?"
Later in his speech, Palestinian president lashed out at Netanyahu for trying to undermine the intra-Palestinian reconciliation efforts between the PA and Hamas.
"Netanyahu personally said that Israel would do everything to prevent the reconciliation to keep the Gaza Strip out of PA’s control,” the president said. “Every month the PA transfers $100 million to the Gaza Strip and Hamas still opposes the reconciliation, trying instead to negotiate an arrangement with Israel.”
“Intra-Palestinian reconciliation is the only way to resist Netanyahu, who in the past said to me that Israel would act against us if we ever talked to Hamas … and now he is the one negotiating with Hamas and giving them money every month," Abbas said, referring to the Qatari aid used to pay Hamas civil servants' salaries and also allegedly provide financial support for the needy in the impoverished coastal enclave.