Abbas: Palestinian state carved out in Trump peace plan looks like Swiss cheese

Abbas: Palestinian state carved out in Trump peace plan looks like Swiss cheese
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE’s Middle East peace plan as unacceptable to Palestinians, saying a future state would resemble “Swiss cheese.”

“This is the state that they will give us,” Abbas told the United Nations Security Council while waving a copy of the peace plan’s map. “It’s like a Swiss cheese, really. Who among you will accept a similar state and similar conditions?”

Introduced in January, Trump’s proposal would allow Israel to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank as well as the Jordan Valley, which sits at the border between Jordan and the West Bank. Palestinians would be granted a “demilitarized” state that would cover roughly 70 percent of the West Bank plus the Gaza Strip in exchange for those and other territorial concessions. 

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The plan includes steeper cuts into Palestinian territory than most other peace plans offered in the past, leading to fierce denunciations from Abbas.

“It annuls the legitimacy of Palestinian rights, our rights to self-determination, freedom and independence in our own state,” he told the U.N. Security Council. “I would like to reaffirm that this plan or any part in this plan should not be considered as an international reference for negotiations. This is an Israeli-American preemptive plan in order to put an end to the question of Palestine.”

Abbas’s rebuke of Trump’s proposal comes as Tunisia and Indonesia circulate to members of the Security Council a draft resolution to condemn Israel’s plan to annex its West Bank settlements. However, it would likely be vetoed by the U.S. should it be put to a vote. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE, who is a strong supporter of the plan and joined Trump in Washington for its unveiling, rejected Abbas’ criticism.

“This is not Swiss cheese. This is the best plan that exists for the Middle East — for the Middle East — and for the State of Israel and for the Palestinians, too,” Netanyahu said at an election rally in Israel, according to Reuters

Abbas urged Trump to ditch January’s plan and instead use existing U.N. resolutions as frameworks for talks, which would center negotiations around pre-1967 border lines.

Abbas’s remarks come the same day as a poll conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 94 percent of Palestinians reject Trump’s proposal.