Erekat: Trump plan has become the ‘deal of the next century’

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat mocked the fate of Trump’s Mideast peace plan after Israel scheduled new parliamentary elections for September 17.

By World Israel News Staff 

Referring to the “deal of the century” title given to the U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan, Erekat quipped that as a result of the unstable political situation in Israel, presumably putting dramatic diplomatic developments on hold, the plan should now be called  “the deal of the next century,” reports the Israeli Haaretz daily.

Erekat, secretary general of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and a longtime Palestinian negotiator with Israel, has been a leading voice in attacking the U.S. initiative and the American-led economic meeting that is to take place in Bahrain in late June.

“If I’m not going, do you know what’s best for me better than I do?” asked Erekat in an interview with Almayadeen, a pan-Arab satellite television channel based in Lebanon. His comments were aimed, in particular, at Arab states which have announced that they will attend the conference: hosting Bahrain, as well as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. On the other hand, Russia and China have declared that they will not participate, empowering the Palestinian position.

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The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been boycotting diplomatic contacts with the Trump administration since the U.S. president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017. In addition, it has been critical of the American formula of holding a conference which handles economic issues before political matters, such as the final status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

The Palestinian rhetoric employed against Trump’s policy has been sharp.

“The deal of the century or the deal of shame will go to hell, with God’s will, and the economic project they are working on next month will go to hell, too,” PA leader Mahmoud Abbas said this week in an address which aired on Palestine TV, adding that “whoever wants to solve the Palestinian issue must start with the political issue, not by selling the illusions of billions [of dollars].”