Palestinian diplomat: Trump ‘disqualified America’ from being sole broker in Middle East peace deal

Palestinian diplomat: Trump ‘disqualified America’ from being sole broker in Middle East peace deal
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A Palestinian diplomat writes in a new op-ed for The New York Times that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPaul Ryan defends Navy admiral after Trump's criticism Trump discussing visit overseas to troops following criticism: report Retired Army General: Trump is ‘acting like an 8th grader’ in attacking ex-Navy SEAL who led bin Laden operation MORE has "disqualified" his administration from peace talks between Israel and Palestine with his actions in the region.

In the op-ed published Tuesday, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat argues that Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital showed clearly that the U.S. has taken Israel's side in the negotiations.

"President Trump’s Middle East team has made the whole region ask what he might be thinking," Erekat writes.

"In doing so, he has disqualified America from being the sole broker in that effort."

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Erekat goes on to accuse the Trump administration of refusing to confront Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — a top ally of the president, whose government has continued supporting Israeli settlement-building deemed illegal by the international community.

"President Trump has given cover to the most radical views among Israel’s increasingly right-wing public and officials, and his team refuses to confront Israel’s government on any issue," he says.

"When President Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he put the Palestinians in an impossible position and joined Israel in a 'blame game,' " Erekat continues. "But this is not a game to us. This is about our very existence and upholding international law."

Trump's decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital had repercussions across the Middle East and wider Muslim world and was swiftly condemned by the United Nations General Assembly in a 128-9 vote.

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump privately asking aides if Pence is loyal: report Haley honored with 'Woman of Valor' award at Independent Women's Forum gala Ben Shapiro mocks David Hogg over ‘shark attack’ tweet MORE said in December.

"We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit."