After Backing Israel, Trump Admin Engages in War of Words With Palestinian Leader

Abbas says Trump made peace impossible; White House says Abbas has been doing that for years

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The Palestinian leadership has predictably responded to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital with outrage.

It matters not that Trump explicitly only recognized the reality of Israel's governing institutions being situated on the eastern side of Jerusalem, and very conspicuously refrained from referring to the city as Israel's "undivided" capital.

For the Palestinian leadership, even the acknowledgement of the obvious was a step too far.

Since Trump's declaration, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly stated that the United States is no longer acceptable to his regime as the primary Middle East peace mediator.

Abbas has gone so far as to threaten to void past agreements brokered by Washington, which would be nearly all of those signed under the so-called "Oslo" peace process.

"The United States has chosen to lose its qualification as a mediator … We will no longer accept that it has a role in the political process," Abbas told an emergency meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.

"We will tell the Israelis that we are no longer committed to any agreement from Oslo until today," he continued.

The Trump White House fired back by noting that Abbas volatile rhetoric and his regime's ongoing incitement against Israel is what's really preventing peace.

An unnamed White House official told reporters: "This rhetoric, which has prevented peace for years, is not surprising as we anticipated reactions like this."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was similarly unimpressed by Abbas' blustering.

"Palestinians had better face up to reality and strive for peace rather than escalation," Netanyahu said at an event in Jerusalem this week. "The truth will eventually prevail, and many nations will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move their embassies."


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