Palestinian officials on Monday decried US President Donald Trump’s plan for the Middle East as an effort to “finish of the Palestinian cause”.
Trump will meet separately with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz in Washington, DC over his long-delayed proposal that has been kept secret.
“We reject it and we demand the international community not be a partner to it because it contradicts the basics of international law and inalienable Palestinian rights,” Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.
“It is nothing but a plan to finish off the Palestinian cause.”
Palestinians fear the plan will dash their hopes for an independent state in the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. Palestinian leaders say they were not invited to Washington and no plan can work without them.
Trump said the White House would release his plan at noon (17:00 GMT) on Tuesday.
Frustrate their plans
Meanwhile, the armed group ISIL (ISIS) vowed in an audio message released on Monday to launch a new phase of attacks focusing on Israel and blasted the US administration’s plan to resolve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
ISIL spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi urged followers in the 37-minute message to carry out attacks against Israel. It was released by the group’s al-Furqan media.
The plan was to “fight the Jews and restore all that they have usurped from Muslims”, said al-Qurayshi.
Despite carrying out deadly attacks around the world in recent years, ISIL has rarely targeted Israel. The audio appears to try to win the hard-line group popularity in the region.
The spokesman added: “To Muslims and Palestine and elsewhere, be a main force in fighting Jews and frustrating their plans such as the ‘Deal of the Century’.”
Shtayyeh said Trump and Netanyahu were using the plan as a distraction from their domestic troubles.
Trump was impeached in the House of Representatives last month and is on trial in the Senate on abuse of power charges. Netanyahu faces corruption charges and a national election on March 2 – his third in less than a year. Both deny any wrongdoing.
“This plan is to protect Trump against being impeached and to protect Netanyahu from going to jail, and it is not a peace plan,” Shtayyeh said at a cabinet meeting in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Palestinian and Arab sources briefed on the draft fear it seeks to bribe Palestinians into accepting Israeli occupation, in what could be a prelude to Israel annexing about half of the West Bank – including most of the Jordan Valley, the strategic and fertile eastern-most strip of the territory.