RNA - Israel’s Channel 12 TV reported on Wednesday that a Palestinian Authority delegation, led by Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh, had met with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and handed him a handwritten letter in Arabic from Abbas to Netanyahu.
In his note, the report said, Abbas stressed that the plan US President Donald Trump unveiled on Tuesday as a proposed solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict disregards the 1993 Oslo accords that divided the West Bank into areas under Israeli, Palestinian and joint controls.
“The plan is an American and Israeli disavowal of the Oslo accords, and so the Palestinian Authority now sees itself as free to disregard the agreements with Israel, including security cooperation,” the report quoted the letter as saying.
The Palestinian president wanted to inform Israel of his position before he traveled to Cairo to attend an urgent meeting of the Arab League on Trump’s so-called “deal of the century,” according to the report.
Sheikh told Kahlon that Abbas had not only refused to take a call from Trump ahead of the release of his Mideast deal, he had also refused to accept a letter the US president had sent him.
Kahlon, for his part, told Sheikh that he would hand Netanyahu the letter when the Israeli premier returns from a trip to Russia on Thursday.
The Israeli finance minister also asked the Palestinians to temper their response until after Israel’s general elections in March, claiming that everything could change after the vote.
Trump released his proposed deal during an event at the White House alongside Netanyahu in Washington on Tuesday.
The so-called ‘Vision for Peace’ — which all Palestinian groups have unanimously rejected — meets largely Israel’s demands in the decades-old conflict while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders.
It enshrines Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
The plan further denies the right of return of Palestinian refugees into their homeland, among other controversial terms.
Reacting to the deal, which Trump unveiled with a lot of hype, the UN along with many countries — including those friendly to Israel — emphasized the need for a two-state solution based on the borders in place before the 1967 war, when Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza, among other Arab territories.
‘Trump’s deal not even a basis for a peace plan’
On Wednesday, ex-Israeli army intelligence chief said Trumps scheme "is not a peace plan, and I am not sure that it is even a basis for a peace plan.”
Speaking during a conference at the Tel Aviv University-affiliated Institute for National Security Studies, Amos Yadlin said that the Palestinians “have rejected, condemned and refused to even join the dialog to have talks” because the US deal is so much less than what they have been offered in the past.
US plan ‘will go nowhere’
Former US Middle East peace envoy told the same conference that he was “hyperventilating” when he heard the terms of “the deal of the century,” predicting that it would go nowhere.
Trump’s initiative “will go over very badly in the US,” because it does not give “a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem [al-Quds], [and] it makes the Jordan Valley not just a long-term presence, but is now annexed,” John Allen said.