Following a vote Thursday by the United Nations General Assembly to declare "null and void" the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and relocate the American Embassy, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States has "disqualified" itself as "an honest mediator" in efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
"The United States are no longer an honest mediator in the peace process," Abbas said at a press conference in Paris. "We will not accept any plan from the United States of America because of its bias and violation of the international law."
While the Trump administration's Middle East envoy, Jared Kushner, has for the past few months been drafting a new peace plan for the region, details have not yet been publicly divulged. The BBC reports "there has been an expectation it will be publicly launched in early 2018," noting that "the last round of U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed amid acrimony in April 2014."
However, following the Jerusalem decision, Abbas is turning to other world leaders to assist with peace negotiations. "We call upon countries that did not recognize Palestine yet to do so to preserve the two-state solution before it's too late," he said.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority president called the 128-9 vote in the U.N. General Assembly—which denounced the U.S. decision on Jerusalem—"a victory for Palestine," and vowed that Palestine "will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital."
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After warning that the Trump administration would be "taking names" during the vote, as Common Dreams reported Thursday, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley "slammed U.N. member states for refusing to line up in support of President Donald Trump's decision and threatened to withdraw funding." Haley's speech was widely rebuked and likened to "a bully throwing a temper tantrum on the world stage."
Israeli violence, meanwhile, continues to claim Palestinian lives in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
As Ma'an News Agency reports, the latest victim, 24-year-old Zakariya al-Kafarneh, was shot and killed with live ammunition in Gaza on Friday as local residents in the besieged territory continued to protest against Israeli policies and the Trump administration's decision on Jerusalem:
Al-Kafarneh's killing brings the death toll of Palestinians killed by Israel since Trump's announcement to 11—seven killed in clashes, and four killed in airstrikes. Meanwhile, 10 Palestinians were injured during clashes in the southern Gaza Strip, including two with live bullets in the legs. A Palestinian youth dressed as Santa Claus was also injured in the legs with live bullets during clashes in southern Gaza and was transferred to the European Hospital for treatment.