charges of Saudi Arabia to push America towards declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel[/size] Twilight News
Saturday, 9 December 2017
(Reuters) - Palestinian officials have accused Saudi Arabia of working behind the scenes for weeks to push for a US peace plan that would include moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Saudi royal court described the recent US move as "unjustified and irresponsible" and "represents a significant decline in efforts to push forward the peace process."
But Arab officials say privately Riyadh appears to be part of a broader US strategy to draw up an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that is still in its early stages.
Four Saudi officials, who asked not to be identified, said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had discussed in detail a major deal to be unveiled by Trump, his brother-in-law and his adviser Jared Kouchner in the first half of 2018.
One official said Prince Mohammed had asked Abbas to show support for the US administration's peace efforts when they met in Riyadh in November.
Another Palestinian official said Prince Mohammad told Abbas: "Be patient and you will hear good news, the peace process will go on."
US-Saudi relations have improved significantly in the Trump era, partly because of a consensus between leaders of the two countries on the need to confront Iran, the arch enemy of Riyadh, more strongly in the region.
Palestinian officials and many Arab officials fear that by closing the door to Palestinians declaring the eastern part of Jerusalem the capital of their future state, Trump will join Israel in granting limited autonomy to Palestinians in various parts of the occupied West Bank without the right of return for refugees displaced in the 1948 and 1967 wars .
Palestinian officials said they feared that the proposal conveyed by Prince Mohammed to Abbas, who is said to be from Kouchner, was the same scenario.
According to Abbas, the proposal includes the establishment of a "Palestinian entity" in Gaza and three West Bank administrative areas in Area A and Area B and 10 percent of Area C, which includes Jewish settlements.
The Jewish settlements in the West Bank would remain the same, the Palestinians would not have the right of return, and Israel would remain responsible for the border.