Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejects US as sole mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, at the UN General Assembly address, saying Donald Trump's "biased" administration has undermined a two-state solution.
The Palestinians will no longer accept the United States as the sole mediator in the Middle East peace process, their President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday, accusing Donald Trump's "biased" administration of undermining a two-state solution.
Speaking a day after the US president said he favoured a two-state solution to end the conflict between the Israel and Palestinians and revealed he would unveil a new peace plan within months, Abbas said Trump could not be regarded as a neutral broker.
"We will also not accept sole American mediation in the peace process," Abbas said in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, saying the US president had shown that he was "biased" towards Israel since coming to power.
"This administration has reneged on all previous US commitments, and has undermined the two-state solution, and has revealed its false claims of concern about the humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people," the Palestinian Authority president said.
'Jerusalem is not for sale'
Abbas cut to the heart of the Middle East dispute by starting his annual speech at the UN General Assembly by saying "Jerusalem is not for sale."
Abbas uttered the words as soon as he took the podium, even before his customary invocation of God and laying out the overall situation for the Palestinians.
Abbas said, "Jerusalem is not for sale and Palestinians' rights are not up for bargaining."
Nicole Johnston reports.
Abbas slams 'deal of the century'
Abbas in particular criticised Trump's decisions to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, his order to close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington and to cut off aid funding, including to a UN agency that supports millions of Palestinian refugees.
"All such decisions threaten the Palestinian national cause and constitute an assault on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions," said Abbas.
"It is ironic that the American administration still talks about what they call the 'deal of the century'. But what is left for this administration to give to the Palestinian people? Humanitarian solutions?"
Abbas urged Trump to rethink the decisions and urged member nations to support his push for Palestinian statehood.
But Abbas pledged not to revert to violence despite his accusations that Israel and the US have not held up promises to the Palestinians.
He said, "We are not redundant. Why are we treated as redundant people who should be gotten rid of?"
Doubts on peace talks
The last Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014 and there are doubts Trump can secure what he has called the "ultimate deal" since he recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December and moved the US Embassy there in May.
The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Israel occupied those territories in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognised internationally.