Palestinian envoy says US peace plan ‘useless’
‘We aren’t interested in what they’re going to be proposing because…Jerusalem is off the table, refugees are off the table'
By Betul Yuruk
Palestine’s ambassador to the UN on Tuesday described a possible Israel-Palestine peace deal by the U.S. as “useless” as it ignored the issues of Jerusalem and refugees.
“We are not interested in what they are going to be proposing because…Jerusalem is off the table, refugees are off the table,” Riyad Mansour told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.
Mansour added that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is being destroyed
“If you have that kind of behavior that is being exhibited by the U.S. administration, what is left on the table?”
“That’s why we don’t want to engage in something that is useless because all the things that they’ve announced unilaterally are things that will not pave the way for peace and progress,” he added.
Trump's recognition in December of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was widely seen as undercutting longstanding arrangements underpinning the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
The contested city's status was widely regarded as a final status issue in those talks, and Trump's announcement sent the Palestinian leadership into a seething uproar. They continue to reject a U.S. role in mediating talks over the announcement and have refused to return to negotiations.
Palestinians are seeking East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
Earlier this year, the U.S. suspended over half of its funding for the UN's Palestine refugee agency, withholding $65 million of its $125 million in annual funds after Palestinians rejected a U.S. role in any peace talks.
UNRWA is facing a funding shortage that threatens to halt school openings in September following the U.S.'s decision to partly halt its funding.