Abbas peace initiative at UN stirs debate among Palestinians

RAMALLAH, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) — A day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced at a UN Security Council a peace initiative in his speech, skepticism raised by observers over the possibility of its success.

Abbas proposed to hold an international conference to discuss final status issues including Jerusalem and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders in line with international legitimacy resolutions.

Hamas member of parliament Ayman Daraghmeh told Xinhua that it seems the “president wanted to present something ahead of Trump’s so called century deal, by asserting that we reject his pressures that harm our national standards.”

Islamic Hamas movement said in a press statement Wednesday that Abbas’s initiative “anchors his policy in taking decisions alone.”

It described his speech at the UN as “below expectations, and does not reflect the national position calling for ending Oslo Accords and rejecting return to negotiations with Israel.”

The statement urged Abbas to consult with other factions and not to return to the “futile negotiations,” and to focus on the internal situation instead.

Meanwhile, Ramallah based political analyst Jihad Harb said that the general features of Abba’s peace initiative were unraveled in several occasions in his speeches, following the U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December, but it is a withdrawal from past Palestinian decision.

Palestinians said they will take several steps in response to the U.S. move, including joining international agreements, requesting full UN membership and resorting to the International Criminal Court, which Harb believes Abbas’s speech evaded from.

In addition, he went on saying that Abbas also asked the U.S. “to freeze its decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and not to revoke it, as he demanded before.”

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