Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh has declared that Ramallah is no longer bound by past agreements with Israel, in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s release of the so-called “Deal of the Century.” Al-Sheikh, who is also the PA’s contact liaison with Israel, told the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Network that a PLO delegation will visit the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip next week, in efforts to consolidate a joint-Palestinian position vis-à-vis the American initiative.
The Islamist-Hamas organization has issued a call for the Arab and Islamic world to join forces in confronting the United States and Israel. In a letter sent to the global Islamic leadership, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reminded the Islamic Nation of its role and responsibility to defend what he referred to as “Palestine” in accordance with Islamic law, which forbids non-Muslims from controlling lands that were once under Islamic rule.
Haniyeh’s top advisor and predecessor Khaled Meshaal proclaimed that Hamas is already attempting to form a united front against Washington’s proposal. “We’re not waiting or anticipating because we know how dangerous this deal is, and thus we’ve started working. We’ve started gathering our power and uniting the Palestinian front, agreeing on strategies to face this step,” said Meshaal, from his office in Doha, adding “We possess a lot of strong cards, firstly the legitimacy of our cause, we are the righteous ones, rooted in our country. The occupation can’t remove us from our land, not in the West Bank, nor Jerusalem, nor Gaza, not even from the 48 [1948 borders].”
He also thanked “the Arab and Islamic countries, and our friends around the world” that “who stood against this deal,” while condemning the Arab and Muslim countries “who participated in the deal – whether in secret or publicly – or attended its announcement, or even gave it cover; retreat from this position, this is not an honorable position.”
While numerous Arab states have voiced support for Washington’s proposal, Ankara and Tehran are championing international opposition to it. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his country’s vehement rejection of what he said was the intended- “annexation of occupied Palestine territories.” Turkey will “never recognize and accept” a plan to leave “Jerusalem entirely in Israel’s bloody claws, to be the greatest evil not only Muslims and Christians living there, but also to all humanity,” he told his Islamist AK party. He further rejected the White House plan as an “invasion project.”
The top advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei proclaimed his nation’s unwavering commitment to the Palestinian cause. “Iran will not stay silent, that’s for sure,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, stressing that “The Iranian leadership and the Iranian people see the issue of Palestine as the top priority of the Islamic world, and will further implement consultations with other Palestine-supporting Arab countries to the best of our ability.”