US warns Abbas must choose between ‘hateful rhetoric’ and peace efforts

The US on Monday condemned PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ combative speech and his remarks against Washington officials. “We urge the Palestinian Authority to focus its efforts on improving the lives of the Palestinian people and advancing the cause of peace,” read the statement by the US State Department
Trump and Abbas Photo Credit: Flickr/Kremlin

Washington has denounced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his remarks in a fiery speech on Monday, during which he called David Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel, a “son of a dog.” Washington also condemned the Palestinian leader’s rhetoric against the US’ policy in the Middle East and the peace efforts in the region.  

“The time has come for President Abbas to choose between hateful rhetoric and concrete and practical efforts to improve the quality of life of his people and lead them to peace and prosperity,” said Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations.

“Notwithstanding his highly inappropriate insults against members of the Trump administration, the latest iteration being his insult of my good friend and colleague Ambassador Friedman, we are committed to the Palestinian people and to the changes that must be implemented for peaceful coexistence,” Greenblatt continued. “We are finalizing our plan for peace and we will advance it when circumstances are right.”

Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the US State Department, echoed Greenblatt’s sentiments in a statement on Monday. “President Abbas’s comments were outrageous and unhelpful,” she said. “We urge the Palestinian Authority to focus its efforts on improving the lives of the Palestinian people and advancing the cause of peace. The administration remains fully committed to those goals.”

As previously reported by JOL, during his speech in Ramallah, Abbas slammed Friedman for legitimizing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. "He said, 'The Israelis are building on their own land,'" Abbas declared, citing Friedman. "Son of a dog! They're building on their own land? He's a settler himself and so is his whole family!"

Abbas also denounced US President Donald Trump's recent moves to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the American embassy. Both actions, Abbas said, prove that Trump's administration regards the settlements as legitimate.



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