Abbas ‘discouraged,’ isolated as Arab countries refuse to join his rejectionist stance

Majority of Arab world’s non-condemnation of the Trump peace plan shows PA is more isolated than it thought.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas feels very let down with the positions that most of the Arab world have taken regarding the American peace proposal unveiled Tuesday by President Donald Trump, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.

A senior Palestinian official who participated in a meeting of the leaders of the Fatah movement that dominates the PA told the Hebrew daily, “The rais (PA president) looked disappointed and mainly very discouraged by the reactions of the Arab countries. He understands that he’s been left alone in the battle.”

Many statements from the Sunni Arab world after the plan’s announcement mentioned the idea that the Palestinians should have a state that accords with their “rights.” This was especially true of Jordan, which spoke up most sharply among the American allies.

However, the source said, “It’s clear that Jordan is only paying lip service in its protest.” The two reasons he cited for this are Amman’s precarious financial situation, so it can ill-afford to endanger American aid, and that its custodianship of the Temple Mount was enshrined in the peace plan.

Europe, which the Palestinians normally can count on to protect their interests, has responded positively to the Trump proposals as well with Britain, France, Austria and the European Union blessing the effort. U.S. diplomats had prepared the ground for months prior to the plan’s announcement this week to gain that support, reports say.

For decades, a majority of the world has parroted the Palestinian line demanding a state on the entire area Israel liberated in 1967’s Six Day War and the return of millions of descendants of refugees from Israel’s War of Independence.

Abbas has now discovered that support for this maximalist position has withered in almost every country, with the notable exceptions of Iran and Turkey, both of which condemned the American plan in the strongest of terms.

The Palestinian street itself has remained largely quiet in the immediate aftermath, even though both Hamas and the PA called for massive protests.

Palestinians attributed the apathy to various reasons when speaking to the media. These included a lack of trust in the Palestinian leadership; the fact that the plan calls for a four-year freeze on Israeli building in Judea and Samaria and so has no immediate effect in their view.

And they say that “the Arab world has sold us out,” as one man pointed out to Israel Hayom on Wednesday that there had been no mass demonstrations in any Arab country.

The quiet could also be due to the Palestinian security services, for despite PA anger and its threats to dump the Oslo Accords, the security cooperation with Israel continues.

A senior Palestinian official told Israel Hayom on Thursday, “It is a Palestinian national interest of the highest order to maintain the security cooperation between the Palestinian security and intelligence services and Israel… it’s even more important to us than it is to the Israeli security services.”

The PA requires Israeli help to fend off a Hamas takeover of the area, as happened in the Gaza Strip in 2007.