The U.S. is crafting a surrender document, not a peace plan, and the Palestinians will not accept it regardless of how much money is offered, Palestine's foreign minister said Thursday.
Riyad al-Maliki was addressing a meeting at the UN's New York headquarters at which the U.S.'s Middle East peace negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, was present ahead of the rollout of the U.S. plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"This is not a peace plan but rather conditions for surrender," he said. "And there is no amount of money that can make it acceptable."
"Some ask us, ‘What if they surprise you?’ We tell them we would have been more hopeful had they not been deaf to our appeals, blind to Israeli violations and mute, at best, on the fundamentals of peace, when not actively undermining them," he added.
Palestinian officials have ruled out a role for the U.S. in peace talks after the Trump administration unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, upending long-established understandings that underpin negotiations to end the conflict and establish a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel.
"When the U.S., prior to announcing its plan, recognizes Jerusalem as the so-called 'capital of Israel' and claims they are entitled to take such a sovereign decision that is in blatant violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions and pretend it has no implications on peace, it is not possible to have faith in such efforts," Maliki said.
Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and special advisor, has said the peace plan he has led will be released sometime in June after the conclusion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Maliki said there are over 600,000 Israeli settlers currently living in the occupied West Bank, insisting Israel is intent on annexing the areas where they live, but maintained the Palestinian Authority is committed to brokering a two-state solution through dialogue.
"Despite this ongoing injustice, we remain committed to peace and the rule of international law. Why? Because it is the only way forward.”
By Michael Hernandez in Washington, D.C.