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Palestine’s Abbas threatens to cut security ties with U.S., Israel over peace plan

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened Saturday to cut security ties with both Israel and the U.S. in a speech at an Arab League meeting in which he denounced the White House plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The U.S. plan would grant the Palestinians limited self-rule in parts of the occupied West Bank, while allowing Israel to annex all its settlements there and keep nearly all of east Jerusalem.

The summit of Arab foreign ministers in Egypt‘s capital Cairo was requested by the Palestinians, who responded angrily to the American proposal.

READ MORE: ‘Nothing will change’ — Palestinians face dilemma in rejecting Trump’s peace plan

Abbas said he told Israel and the U.S. that “there will be no relations with them, including the security ties” following the deal that Palestinians say heavily favours Israel.

The Western-backed Palestinian leadership has been under mounting pressure from ordinary Palestinians and its rivals in the Islamic militant group Hamas to cut off security ties with Israel and the U.S. or even dismantle the increasingly unpopular Palestinian Authority.

That would leave Israel responsible for the complicated and expensive task of providing basic services to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank.

The Palestinians have made such threats in the past, with few people taking them seriously. But this time might be different, especially if Israel proceeds with annexation of its West Bank settlements — which the Palestinians and most of the international community view as illegal — as well as the Jordan Valley, which accounts for roughly a fourth of the West Bank, according to the U.S. plan.

Abbas could also cut off agreements with U.S. intelligence agencies to combat extremism.

There was no immediate comment from U.S. or Israeli officials on Abbas’ statement.

The Palestinian leader said he refused to take U.S. President Donald Trump’s phone calls and messages “because I know that he would use that to say he consulted us.”

“I will never accept this solution,” Abbas said. “I will not have it recorded in my history that I have sold Jerusalem.”

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