Rare consensus as Turkish parliament slams Trump’s “peace plan”

Turkey’s parliament condemned the “peace plan for the Middle East” of the US in a joint declaration on Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday released his delayed plan to end the Israel-Palestine dispute, during an event in the White House standing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump called it the “deal of the century,” promising Jerusalem would be “the undivided capital” of Israel.

Turkish lawmakers described the plan as “a plan of instability and conflict,” criticizing Washington for excluding Palestinians from the peace process.

“[The plan] is against UN decisions and the perspective of the two-state solution,” the declaration said, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

All parties represented in the parliament signed the declaration, a move rarely seen in the contentious political atmosphere of the country concerning both domestic and external issues.

The lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, Nationalist Movement Party and Good Party, blamed the American plan for turning the “occupation of Palestine into its annexation.”

The declaration said Turkey would never support any steps which “ignores fundamental rights and freedom of Palestinians.”

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Wednesday that Trump’s plan “ignores Palestinian’s rights and attempts to legitimize Israel’s occupation.”

“Jerusalem is sacred for Muslims, and Trump’s so-called peace plan proposing to leave Jerusalem to Israel is never acceptable,” Anadolu quoted as Erdogan saying.

Trump’s proposal includes creating an independent Palestinian state in the east of Jerusalem but excluding around six million Palestinian refugees to go back to their homeland.

His plan also proposes the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank settlements, which the Palestinian authorities label an “occupation.”

According to the plan, new Israeli settlement activities will be frozen for four years, but the area will be “secured” by the Israeli security forces.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plan as a “conspiracy” and mocked it by calling it “the slap of the century.”

“I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for a bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass,” Abbas said in a televised speech from Ramallah in the West Bank.

Trump’s peace plan stipulates a halt to “terrorist activities,” referring to the Islamist Hamas to establish a Palestinian state with its capital Abu Dis, a part of east Jerusalem.

However, Abu Dis is a West Bank village in the east of the Israeli municipal boundaries for Jerusalem.

Currently, Palestinians in the area are blocked by a high concrete Israeli wall and several checkpoints.

Palestinians demand a capital consisting of all of East Jerusalem, including the walled Old City.

In the wake of and following Trump’s announcement, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza City.

Some critics, according to Reuters, say both Trump and Netanyahu are trying to divert attention away from their domestic problems. The American leader is going through an impeachment trial while Netanyahu was indicted for corruption on the day they announced the plan.

The previous Israeli-Palestinian talks broke down back in 2014.

Some Arabic countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt offered statements welcoming US efforts over the plan, without specifically endorsing it. They urged further negotiations.

Trump’s “Deal of Century” proposes a divided Jerusalem, a Palestinian state on most of the West Bank: Israeli TV

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