Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tells UN Security Council the world should reject US President Trump's Mideast plan, calling it a "Swiss cheese" deal that would limit Palestinian sovereignty without bringing lasting peace.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, appearing before the United Nations Security Council, angrily rejected US President Donald Trump's controversial Middle East proposal on Tuesday as a gift to Israel and unacceptable to Palestinians.
Waving a copy of a map that the US plan envisions for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, Abbas said the state carved out for Palestinians looks like a fragmented "Swiss cheese."
His appearance came as a draft UN Security Council resolution is being circulated that would condemn an Israeli plan to annex its settlements in the occupied West Bank, in what would amount to a rebuke of the Trump plan.
The draft text, circulated to council members by Tunisia and Indonesia would face a certain US veto, but nonetheless reflected some members' dim view of the plan that Trump rolled out two weeks ago with great fanfare.
Abbas called on Trump to disavow the plan and seek a return to negotiations based on existing UN resolutions that call for a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borderlines. He urged the Security Council to hold an international conference to implement a settlement.
"The US cannot be the sole mediator," he said.
Suggesting violent protests could break out, Abbas said that "the situation could implode at any moment. ... We need hope. Please do not take this hope away from us." Later he said Palestinians would not "resort to terrorism."
Trump’s plan, the product of three years' effort by senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, would recognise Israel's authority over occupied West Bank settlements and would require the Palestinians to meet a difficult series of conditions to be allowed to have a state, with its capital in a West Bank village east of Jerusalem.
Released on January 28, the plan drew immediate Palestinian condemnation for imposing strict conditions and agreeing to let Israel maintain control of long-contested West Bank settlements.
Although Trump's stated aim was to end decades of conflict, the plan he advanced favoured Israel, underscored by the absence of Palestinians from Trump's White House announcement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side.
While the Palestinians have rejected the plan, a number of Arab governments have said it represents a starting point for a renewal of long-stalled negotiations.
Abbas said the deal is not an international partnership but rather a proposal from one state supported by another state to be imposed on Palestinians.
"This is the state that they will give us," said Abbas. "It's like a Swiss cheese, really. Who among you will accept a similar state and similar conditions?"
Abbas said a "Swiss cheese" deal would limit Palestinian sovereignty.
"I would like to say to Mr Donald Trump that his plan cannot achieve peace and security as it cancels international legitimacy," Abbas said.
"It cancels all the rights of the Palestinians. This does not meet the aspirations of a two-state solution," he said.
"If you impose peace it will not last, it cannot last," he said, asking: "What gives you the right to annex these lands?"
Abbas said that peace with Israel remained "achievable" and said, "I have come to build a just partnership."
But Israel's envoy to the United Nations, Danny Danon, accused Abbas of being unrealistic.
"President Abbas refused to be pragmatic. He refuses to negotiate. He is not interested in finding a realistic solution to the conflict," Danon told the Security Council.
Protests in Ramallah
Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated against the US plan, hours before Abbas was due to address the United Nations.
An estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Palestinians gathered in central Ramallah, home of the Palestinian government, for a demonstration led by Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, AFP correspondents said.
A few hundred demonstrators later protested near an Israeli military checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, where clashes broke out between stone-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers firing tear gas.
Twelve Palestinians were injured, including two shot by rubber bullets, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.