An Egyptian paper published what it claims are the transcripts of meetings between top US and Palestinian officials that, if true, would corroborate Israeli accusations that the Obama administration was behind last week’s UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
At the same time, a report in an Israeli daily Tuesday night pointed to Britain helping draft the resolution and high drama in the hours leading up to the vote, as Jerusalem tried to convince New Zealand to bury the Security Council measure.
In a meeting in early December with top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Palestinians that the US was prepared to cooperate with the Palestinians at the Security council, Israel’s Channel 1 TV said, quoting the Egyptian Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper.
Also present at the meeting were US National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Majed Faraj, director of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service.
Kerry is quoted as saying that he could present his ideas for a final status solution if the Palestinians pledge they will support the proposed framework. The US officials advised the Palestinians to travel to Riyadh to present the plan to Saudi leaders.
Israel fears that Kerry, who is slated to give a speech Wednesday on the subject, will then lay out his comprehensive vision for two-state solution at a Paris peace conference planned for January. Israel has refused to attend. Israel further fears that this Kerry framework could be enshrined in another UN Security Council resolution.
The Egyptian report fits with Israeli claims that it had received “ironclad” information from Arab sources that Washington actively helped craft last week’s UN resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal.
“We have ironclad information that emanates from sources in the Arab world and that shows the Obama administration helped craft this resolution and pushed hard for its eventual passage,” said David Keyes, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.The Egyptian report did not detail whose transcripts of the meeting it had obtained or how it had obtained them.
...According to the Egyptian report, the US diplomats expressed their mistrust of Netanyahu, saying he wanted to destroy the two-state solution and was only interested in maintaining the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians.
...They also said Trump’s administration was likely to adopt a policy on the Israel-Palestinian conflict that would be totally different to that of previous administrations going back to 1967.
"American embassies in the Arab world would be forced to close"
When asked how the Palestinians would react if Trump carried out his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Erekat reportedly said the Palestine Liberation Organization would rescind its recognition of Israel and ask Arab states to expel their US envoys.
...Furthermore, said Erekat, all American embassies in the Arab world would be forced to close — not necessarily because Arab leaderships would want to close them, but because the infuriated public in the Arab world would not “allow” for the embassies to continue to operate [in other words, they would be subject to terrorist attacks].
The Associated Press contributed to this report