Abbas Says US Offers Palestinians 'Swiss Cheese' State

Abbas Says US Offers Palestinians 'Swiss Cheese' StateWaving a copy of a map that the US plan envisions for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, Abbas said on Tuesday that the state carved out for Palestinians looked like a fragmented “Swiss cheese.”

In a setback for the Palestinians, a draft Security Council resolution circulated by Tunisia and Indonesia that would have implicitly criticized Trump’s plan, including Israel’s retention of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, was not put to a vote.

The text, which faced a near-certain US veto, did not go forward in part because it failed to garner the support needed by the Palestinians to isolate the United States, two diplomats at the United Nations said, according to Reuters.

One said the draft, which the United States wanted to water down, attracted 11 or 12 votes in favor on the 15-member council. A second diplomat said it would have required too many compromises to achieve the 14-1 vote the Palestinians may have sought.

“Today, by not putting forward a polarizing resolution, the United Nations Security Council demonstrated that the old way of doing things is over,” a senior Trump administration official said.

“This is the state that they will give us,” said Abbas. “It’s like a Swiss cheese, really. Who among you will accept a similar state and similar conditions?”

Speaking at an election rally in the town of Bat Yam, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the criticism and hinted at the possibility that certain Arab states might entertain the Trump plan even if Palestinians do not.

“This is not Swiss cheese. This is the best plan that exists for the Middle East – for the Middle East – and for ... Israel and for the Palestinians, too,” he claimed.

Abbas urged Trump to disavow the plan and seek a return to negotiations based on existing UN resolutions that call for a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borderlines.

“The US cannot be the sole mediator,” he said, rejecting the traditional US role in seeking to broker an end to the conflict and calling for an international conference.

Suggesting violent protests could break out, Abbas said “the situation could implode at any moment. ... We need hope. Please do not take this hope away from us.”

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