The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday condemned a planned U.S. summit of Arab leaders at Camp David to unveil President Donald Trump's so-called "deal of the century" for Middle East peace.
The plan to hold the summit was first revealed in Ynet's sister publication Yedioth Ahronoth on Wednesday morning.
The summit, according to the Palestinian Authority, is aimed at strengthening Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the September elections, establishing normalized Israeli-Arab relations and pushing aside the Arab League-endorsed Saudi peace initiative of 2002.
Furthermore, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said, holding the conference is a sign that the U.S. does not view the Palestinian leadership as a partner for peace - and that Washington wants to reach an agreement without the Palestinians, thereby also eliminating the concept of a two-state solution.
The Palestinians have warned against the U.S. coming to the aid of Netanyahu, whom they say is trying to implement Israeli law in the West Bank and beyond.
Also Wednesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh dismissed Jerusalem's approval for 700 housing units for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli civilian military rule.
"Dividing the territories into A, B and C no longer exists as Israel has violated the Oslo Accords (which set out the division)" Shtayyeh said. "We need not permission from an occupying power to build homes on our own land."
The Palestinian prime minister said that the move was intended to sway international public opinion and legitimize Israel's West Bank settlements, which will receive an additional 6,000 housing units as part of the same plan.
The summit was reportedly planned together with Netanyahu and his ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer.
The head of the U.S. team for Mideast peace and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was meeting Wednesday with the Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman and later in the day with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. His entourage will then holds talks in Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
A Washington official who has been following the preparations for Kushner's trip estimated that the current intention is that Netanyahu will not attend a conference that will convene at Camp David, since his participation will make it difficult for the Arab invitees.
Trump is expected to present the deal without going into binding detail. For example, he will agree to a Palestinian entity, but not necessarily a state, he is likely to say yes to a Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem but not necessarily as the capital of a Palestinian state, and so on.
Abbas is expected to reject the plan outright, while Netanyahu is likely to praise the move, but say he has many reservations, without elaborating. The Arab rulers will lend the process legitimacy by attending the Camp David conference.