Published: Sat, July 27, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Trump envoy says only direct talks can solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Trump envoy says only direct talks can solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict

"We announce the leadership's decision to stop implementing the agreements signed with the Israeli side", he said after meeting other Palestinian officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Thursday he has chose to stop implementing agreements with Israel amid worsening relations between the two sides.

Earlier this week, Israel began demolishing a number of Palestinian homes south of Jerusalem.

The creation of a committee that would lead the effort to withdraw from all agreements is in line with rules laid out by the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Central Council.

He also rejected US President Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century" between Israel and the Palestinians, emphasizing that "Palestine and Jerusalem are not for sale or bargain".

Reuters reports that Kuwait, Indonesia, and South Africa brought a five-paragraph draft condemnation to the Security Council on Tuesday.

Israel drew global scorn after it began on Monday the demolition of 10 Palestinian apartment buildings in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood called Sur Baher.

Israel said the 10 apartment buildings demolished on Monday, majority still under construction, had been built illegally and posed a security risk to Israeli armed forces operating along a barrier that runs through the occupied West Bank.

On Monday, Abbas's office called the Sur Baher demolitions a "massacre" and said Israel bears "full responsibility for this risky escalation against the innocent Palestinian people". The United States has long objected to a council visit, which has to be agreed by consensus, diplomats said.

Washington has long accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias and shields its ally from council action.

Greenblatt told the Security Council on Tuesday a peace plan can not rely on global consensus, inconclusive worldwide law and "unclear" United Nations resolutions, sparking pushback from several countries.

Palestinians have rebuked the administration of Donald Trump since the U.S. president made a decision to unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a move denounced by most of the worldwide community.

But relations between Abbas's government, based in the West Bank, and its Israeli counterpart have worsened in recent months. One specific area of the neighborhood, Wadi al-Hummus, falls outside of the Jerusalem municipality and is controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

In the Security Council, Greenblatt called on the Palestinians "to put aside blanket rejections of a plan they have not even seen" and show a willingness to engage in talks with Israel.

The Palestinians have in response refused to take any of the roughly $180 million in monthly tax revenues until the full amount is transferred, leaving Abbas's PA in financial crisis.

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