Palestinians to Trump: Work towards our state

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s office on Wednesday called on US president-elect Donald Trump to work towards a Palestinian state, with peace efforts with Israel long at a standstill. “We are ready to deal with the elected president on the basis of a two-state solution and to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP, referring to the year when Israel occupied the West Bank.

Abu Rudeina said failure to resolve the decades-old conflict would mean “the unstable situation will continue in the region”. The Palestinians remain deeply divided, with Abbas’s secular Fatah party dominating in the West Bank and Islamist movement Hamas in power in the Gaza Strip. Reacting to Trump’s victory, Hamas said it did not expect a change in US “bias” against the Palestinians. “The Palestinian people do not count much on any change in the US presidency because the US policy towards the Palestinian issue is a consistent policy on the basis of bias,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP. “Nevertheless, we hope that US president Trump will re-evaluate this policy and rebalance it on the Palestinian issue.” Peace efforts have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in April 2014. Much remains unclear about how Trump will approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however he has already controversially said that he will move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Such a move would break with decades of precedent and put Washington at odds with nearly all UN member states. The status of Jerusalem is one of the most difficult issues in the conflict. The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while the Israelis call the entire city their eternal indivisible capital.


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