US Offers Palestinians ‘Swiss Cheese’ State: Mahmoud Abbas

Addressing the United Nations Security Council, Abbas said the plan is a gift to Israel and Palestinians cannot accept it.

11 February 2020

Palestinian Authority (P.A.) President Mahmoud Abbas roundly rejected Tuesday United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump’s “peace” plan for Palestine and Israel.

Addressing the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council, Abbas said the plan is a gift to Israel, and Palestinians cannot accept it. He brandished a map picturing what the two states would look like if the plan is implemented, and said the state carved out for Palestinians resembled a “Swiss cheese.”

“This is the state that they will give us. It’s like Swiss cheese, really. Who among you will accept a similar state and similar conditions?”

Abbas then urged Trump to return to negotiations based on existing U.N. resolutions and pre-1967 borders. He also rejected traditional U.S. mediation in resolving the conflict and called for an international conference.

In the meantime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at a rally in the Israeli town of Bat Yam, rejected Abbas’ criticism and suggested that Arab states might entertain the plan even if Palestinians do not.

“This is not Swiss cheese. This is the best plan that exists for the Middle East – for the Middle East – and for the State of Israel and for the Palestinians, too,” he said, adding that the plan “recognizes reality and the rights of the people of Israel, both of which you constantly refuse to recognize.”

The proposal – released with great fanfare on Jan. 28 – is the product of three years of effort by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. It allows Israel to annex all illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as the strategic Jordan Valley, and grants it the whole city of Jerusalem as a capital.

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The Palestinians are offered limited self-rule in Gaza, small chunks of the West Bank, a village in the outskirts of Jerusalem as a capital, and some desert areas of Israel, in exchange for complying with a long list of conditions.

On Monday, Abbas removed a request for a Security Council vote on a resolution rejecting the U.S. “peace” plan and condemning it as a violation of international law. The resolution was unlikely to pass due to U.S. veto power in any case.

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