Arab League to hold urgent meeting on Trump's Mideast plan
January 29 2020 12:48 AM
Palestinians take part in a demonstration in the West Bank city of Nablus to protest against US Pres
Palestinians take part in a demonstration in the West Bank city of Nablus Tuesday to protest against US President Donald Trump's peace plan.

AFP/Cairo

*Abbas: US Middle East plan belongs to 'trash bin of history'
*Palestinians reject proposal terming it as a plan that recognises Israel's illegal annexation of occupied lands


The Arab League said it will convene an urgent meeting on Saturday in response to US President Donald Trump's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
Hossam Zaki, the pan-Arab body's deputy secretary, told reporters Tuesday that Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas would attend to discuss the "so-called Deal of the Century".
The extraordinary meeting comes on the back of a Palestinian request to the League, which is headquartered in Cairo.
The controversial plan was unveiled jointly by Trump and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House Tuesday.
The grand imam of Egypt's prestigious Al-Azhar mosque and university lambasted the plan at a conference in Cairo in the presence of many of the world's leading religious scholars.
No Palestinian leaders have been invited to the much-touted White House event.
In Ramallah, Palestinians staged protests against the peace plan, hours before it was to be unveiled in Washington.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the long-awaited Middle East plan, saying it will be sent to "the trash bin of history."
Thousands demonstrated in Gaza, burning pictures of Trump and the American flag, while further rallies were planned for the coming days.
Rightwing Israeli settlers, for their part, also raised concern, fearing the initiative would support the formation of a Palestinian state.
In a rare event, rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah agreed to meet in the West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss a response to Trump.
The Palestinians accuse Trump of pro-Israel bias after his administration has unwaveringly backed Israeli objectives.
And Trump's vision of peace is almost certainly a non-starter for most Palestinians, including those in the Jordan Valley, a strategically vital area that constitutes around 30% of the West Bank.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation's negotiations affairs department stressed that international law must first be
respected and adhered to before peace in the Middle East can be achieved.
In contrast, "the US plan recognises Israel's illegal colonisation and annexation of occupied lands belonging to the State of Palestine," the department said.
According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in West Bank cities as Trump was announcing the plan with Netanyahu.
People rallied in city centres, saying the US plan aims at ending the Palestinian cause, Wafa reported.
Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas leader, slammed the Middle East plan presented by Trump as "nonsense" and called it a "hostile deal" for the Palestinian people.
"The Palestinians will exert all possible efforts, using all means, to confront it until it is toppled," vowed the leader shortly after the plan was presented in Washington.
Russia called on Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate directly to find a "mutually acceptable compromise" after Trump unveiled his controversial peace plan.



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