Palestinians recall US envoy, discuss next diplomatic steps

The Palestinians are facing several crucial decisions that could significantly impact their relationship with Israel and the US.  

By: World Israel News Staff

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Sunday recalled the head of the Palestine delegation to the US Hussam Zomlot to review the recent decision of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to reject President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to discuss the PA’s next steps on the issue.

A Palestinian-sponsored resolution at the UNGA declaring Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem “null and void” passed last month by a 128-9 margin, with 35 abstentions. Twenty-one countries were absent during the vote.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki said PA head Mahmoud Abbas issued the order to recall Zomlot to discuss future steps, the Palestinian official WAFA news agency reported Monday.

Zomlot is expected to return to Washington to resume his duties after the New Year.

Meanwhile, the 28th meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) is slated to convene in Ramallah in mid-January and will be themed “Jerusalem, the Eternal Capital of Palestine,” according to the Speaker of the PNC Salim Zanoun.

Zanoun said the PNC will discuss “a national action strategy to fend off the challenges facing the Palestinian national project.”

After announcing their withdrawal from any attempts to revive the peace process, the Palestinians are seeking other methods to promote statehood and wage a diplomatic war against Israel.

The PNC will consider declaring the areas under the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) control “a state under occupation.”

Such a Palestinian announcement could include a declaration of independence, a constitution establishing Palestinian democracy and rights, a Palestinian currency, and the establishment of additional Palestinian embassies.

The UNGA could vote on these moves, recognizing “Palestine” as “a state under occupation,” but such a move would be merely declarative.

Acting against the Oslo Accords

Similarly, Abbas lit a torch on Sunday evening in Ramallah marking the 53rd anniversary of the launch of the Fatah movement.

Fatah was initially founded in 1959 as a political movement and became a political party in 1965, a time before Israel’s borders contained Judea and Samaria or Gaza.

Speaking on this occasion, Abbas reiterated his commitment to establishing an independent Palestinian state with the eastern portion of Jerusalem as its capital based on the 1967 borders and a “just solution” for the Palestinian refugees and prisoners in Israeli jails.

Abbas said that the Palestinians will continue their push to join all international organizations and treaties, as well as efforts to achieve recognition of Palestinian statehood from countries that have not yet recognized it, in contradiction of 1993 Oslo peace accords.

“We will not accept the status quo. We will not accept the apartheid system. We will not accept occupation without cost, and you [Israel] must rethink your aggressive policies and actions against our people, our land and our holy places before it is too late,” Abbas told the gathering.