Rejecting Trump, Abbas at UN says US too biased to mediate peace talks

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday slammed US President Donald Trump for his policies toward the Palestinians, calling them an “assault on international law,” and rejected Washington as a mediator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Abbas also hailed terror convicts in Israeli prisons as “heroes,” and signaled he could cut PA budgets to Gaza if Hamas does not relinquish power.

The US is “too biased towards Israel” in order to act alone as a fair mediator between the Palestinians and Israel, Abbas said, but indicated he could be open to others stepping in to broker talks.

“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,” Abbas accused.

“We welcomed Trump when he was elected and praised his announcement of [a] peace plan, but were shocked by his actions concerning the process,” Abbas said in New York.

But, he continued, “He decided to close the Palestinian mission in Washington, then recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, and even boasts that he took the issues of Jerusalem and refugees off the table.”

“He even intensified his assault on international law by cutting humanitarian aid to refugees and funds to the Palestinian Authority,” Abbas charged.

Abbas’s speech came amid a deepening rift between Ramallah and Washington due to the PA’s refusal to engage with American officials after the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.

Relations plummeted further in recent weeks after Washington cut off all funding to the UN agency assisting Palestinians, triggering a budget panic, and shuttered the Palestinian mission in Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to address the UN General Assembly after Abbas, a day after US President Donald Trump pledged to present a “very fair” Israeli-Palestinian peace plan in the coming months.

Netanyahu is expected to focus primarily on Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its military entrenchment in Syria, as well as efforts to restart peace talks with the Palestinians.

Read More: Times of Israel