Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert to appear together opposing Trump peace plan

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Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert to appear together opposing Trump peace plan

Former Israeli prime minister will make joint appearance with Palestinian Authority President while the U.N. Security Council discusses the plan

Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas
Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will make a joint appearance in opposition to the Trump administration’s peace plan.

Their appearance reportedly will be held at the same time as the U.N. Security Council takes up a discussion of the plan. The United States is expected to veto any resolution against the long-awaited proposal unveiled last week.

An Israeli reporter, Ehud Yaari of Channel 12, cited unnamed Palestinian sources in first reporting on the joint appearance Thursday morning. The report did not say where Abbas and Olmert will appear.

Abbas will speak to the Security Council about the plan in coming days, Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters last week, according to Reuters.

Olmert is expected to say that he was on the cusp of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians in 2008. Palestinian sources told Yaari that what Olmert is planning to say will help Abbas in gaining international support against the plan, since it would prove that the Palestinians do not reject out of hand reaching any peace agreement with Israel.

In the ’08 negotiations, Olmert offered Abbas the most generous offer by an Israeli prime minister, including a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank, relinquishing eastern Jerusalem and putting the Old City of Jerusalem under international control. Abbas initially rejected the offer, though further talks broke down when Olmert’s legal troubles led to his resignation. Olmert stepped down while under investigation on corruption charges, then later was imprisoned after being found guilty.

Asked Thursday by Channel 12 if he would cancel his meeting with Abbas due to the uptick in Palestinian violence against Israeli soldiers, Olmert replied: “Did Abu Mazen [Abbas’ nom de guerre] personally open fire? What happened? I don’t understand.”

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