Donald Trump has no right to deal with our issues – Palestinian Ambassador

08.02.2020 by https://timesofmalta.com/

Maltese Palestinian community slams so-called ‘deal of the century’

Members of the Maltese Palestinian community, along with Moviment Graffitti activist Andre Callus (far right). Photo: Jonathan Borg

Donald Trump had “no right whatsoever” to deal with the Palestinian-Israeli issue, Palestinian Ambassador to Malta Fadi Hanania told Times of Malta

Mr Fadi was at a two-day event organised by Moviment Graffiti that aims to bring attention to the recently announced “peace plan” for Palestine announced by US President Donald Trump.

Reacting to the plan, members of the Maltese-Palestinian community said Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” for the Middle East would kill “every dream of peace” for the Palestinian state.

“What Trump is doing would be like suddenly declaring that Texas was a part of Malta. He has no right whatsoever to deal with the Palestinian-Israeli issue. It’s an issue between us an Israel and we always believed that we should do it through negotiations,” Mr Hanania said. 

“This new plan takes the majority of the remaining Palestinian land and gives it to Israeli settlers, which is illegal by international law. So the whole deal with Trump as we see it, and as he has said, is a business deal. Our people will not let this happen, no matter what, this plan will not go through on our people,” he said.

The deal was unveiled to much fanfare by the US president last week.  

Addressing the press in Parliament Square in Valletta, members of the community said Mr Trump’s proposed deal gave the Israeli state long coveted concessions that they would fight tooth and nail against. 

The Palestinian community believe that the most viable plan that has been put forward so far is the Arab Peace Initiative, Mr Hanania said. 

The plan, proposed in 2003, calls for a two-state solution in the region, normalising Arab-Israeli relations in exchange for the Jewish state’s full withdrawal from occupied territories and defined principles on how Palestinian refugees may return to their homes.  

“Palestinians have been successful economically across the world. They have integrated into communities but they still don’t have the right to return and develop their own country and economy,” Mr Hanania said

Moviment Graffiti activist Andre Callus called the deal an “insult” and said that the proposal had no intention to bring about peace, much less justice to the people of Palestine. 

“There are those who portray this situation as an eternal conflict between Jews and Muslims,” Mr Callus said. 

“The root of the problem is coming from the Israeli state kicking out Palestinians from their homes and taking up more land.”

“Palestinians today have less than 20% of the land that they have historically had and that has been consistently eaten away.”

The Palestinian Community expressed their gratitude for the constant support they have received from the Maltese people, the Maltese government and the President of Malta.

What is the ‘deal of the century’?

Donald Trump unveiled his plan at the White House last week. He was flanked by Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu. No Palestinian leaders were present. 

The US president’s deal would see Jerusalem guaranteed as the capital city of Israel, with Palestine given its own capital in the outer fringes of east Jerusalem. 

It also gives Israel the right to annex the strategic Jordan Valley, which makes up around 30 per cent of the West Bank, and all Israeli settlements. Around 600,000 Israelis live in these settlements, which are considered illegal under international law.

Rather than the two-state solution previously discussed, the plan would see Palestine granted patches of land attached by highways, roads or tunnels. 

Mr Trump presented the plan as “a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.”

But the proposal has been slammed by Muslims, who say it is overwhelmingly tilted in Israel’s favour. 

Palestine’s president Mahmud Abbas has dubbed it “the conspiracy deal” and said it would be consigned to the “dustbin of history”.