Russia questions US peace plan for Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Mahmoud Abbas and Vladimir Putin (AP)

The National  /  February 3, 2020 

Moscow said the proposal contravenes several United Nations resolutions.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Bethlehem on January 23, 2020. Russia has expressed doubts over the feasibility of the Trump peace plan. AP

A Middle East peace plan presented by US President Donald Trump contravenes several United Nations resolutions, Russian news agencies cited a Kremlin spokesman as saying on Sunday, questioning the plan’s feasibility.

“We see the reaction from the Palestinians, we see the reaction of a wide range of Arab states which have sided with the Palestinians in rejecting the plan. This, obviously, makes one think about its feasibility,” Dmitry Peskov said.

The Palestinian Authority cut all ties with the United States and Israel, including those relating to security, after rejecting the Middle East peace plan put forward by Mr Trump.

The blueprint, endorsed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state that excludes Jewish settlements built in occupied territory and is under near-total Israeli security control.

Among a series of proposals that angered the Palestinians was America giving the green light for Israel to annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank settlements.

The Jordan Valley constitutes about a third of the West Bank, the largest part of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since a 1967 war.

Palestinians said such annexation would effectively make it impossible for them to form a state.

Israel and the PA’s security forces have long co-operated in policing areas of the occupied West Bank that are under Palestinian control.

The PA also has intelligence co-operation agreements with the CIA, which continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting the Trump administration’s peace efforts in 2017.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he had refused to discuss the plan with Mr Trump by phone, or to receive even a copy of it to study it.

“Trump asked that I speak to him by phone but I said ‘no’, and that he wants to send me a letter … but I refused it,” he said.

Mr Abbas said he did not want Mr Trump to be able to say that he had been consulted.

He stressed his “complete” rejection of the Trump plan, presented on Tuesday.

“I will not have it recorded in my history that I sold Jerusalem,” he said.