A senior Palestinian diplomat has not only accused the Trump administration of trying to stage a “coup” to overthrow the “Palestinian political system,” but also slammed the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for criticizing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Speaking to local news agency Al-Watan, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator and the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, also said Haley should “shut up” following a fiery speech where she blamed Abbas for invoking “an ugly and fictional past, reaching back to the 17th century to paint Israel as a colonialist project engineered by European powers.”
“A speech that indulges in outrageous and discredited conspiracy theories is not the speech of a person with the courage and the will to seek peace,” she had said in response to Abbas’ speech denying Jewish historical connection to Israel.
“She called for overthrowing the democratically elected Palestinian president,” Erekat said in his interview, criticizing Haley. “This is the president who led the peace process and promoted the principle of the two-state solution. Now this ambassador is accusing him of lacking courage, and is calling for replacing him.”
Defending the Palestinian leadership, Erekat pointed how the world is ignoring the brutalities and atrocities of the Israeli occupation.
“Nikki Haley needs to shut up and realize that the Palestinian leadership is not the problem,” he continued. “Instead, the problem is the Israeli occupation and the policies it continues to pursue. I’m not saying that we don’t make mistakes; every society and every government makes mistakes.”
Last year in December, President Donald Trump drew ire of leaders across the world when he single-handedly reversed nearly 70 years of U.S. foreign policy and made the United States the first country in the world to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, further intensifying the violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
“U.S. and Israeli officials are saying that any Palestinian leader who insists on East Jerusalem becoming the capital of Palestine and is committed to the right of return, in accordance with United Nations resolution 194, should be removed from power and replaced,” Erekat added. “The Palestinian leadership has told the Americans and Israelis that, even after 1,000 years, they will not find any Palestinian who will collaborate with their scheme.”
It is important to note during the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, Trump threatened to withhold aid to the Palestinians if they did not pursue peace with Israel and said Palestinians had “disrespected” Vice President Mike Pence during his recent visit to the tumultuous region.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Mohamad Torokman