Palestinian president vows to thwart Trump peace plan

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he fears that the US is planning a proposal that would offer the Palestinians limited statehood in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and some autonomy in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. (AP)
Updated 29 October 2018

Palestinian president vows to thwart Trump peace plan

RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday again vowed to oppose any peace proposal by US President Donald Trump as PLO officials met to consider their next moves.
Speaking at the opening of a rare meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s central council, Abbas said Palestinians were facing perhaps the “most dangerous stage” in their history, highlighting a series of controversial measures taken by Trump including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Abbas has boycotted Trump’s administration since that December decision, though the US president’s team is still expected to release a peace plan in the coming months.
Abbas compared the expected Trump proposal to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which saw the British government commit to the creation of a state for Jews in historic Palestine.
“If the Balfour Declaration passed, this deal will not pass,” he pledged.
The US has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Palestinians, with Trump angered by Abbas’s refusal to meet with him or members of his administration.
He has called on Abbas to negotiate, but Palestinian leaders say they are being blackmailed to accept Trump’s terms, which they see as blatantly biased in favor of Israel.
“They are still talking about the deal of the era, and that they will present it after a month or two,” Abbas added, saying Trump’s actions amounted to imposing a deal unilaterally.
The Palestinian leader also renewed his support for salaries for families of Palestinians killed or jailed by Israel.
Israel brands the payments for families of those who have carried out anti-Israel attacks as encouraging “terrorism,” and the United States has also criticized them.
Palestinians see those jailed or killed while carrying out attacks as fighting Israel’s ongoing occupation.
“The salaries of our martyrs and prisoners are a red line,” Abbas said.


Algerian parliament vote ‘before year’s end’

Algerians walk across from the People's National Assembly (parliament) building during a voting session on constitutional reforms in the capital Algiers, on September 10, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2020

Algerian parliament vote ‘before year’s end’

  • The term of the widely discredited current lower house, elected in 2017, was originally set to end in May 2022

ALGIERS: The Algerian president says early legislative elections aimed at opening parliament to civil society will be held before the end of the year to give a new face to a parliament long dominated by a single party.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune did not set a date but indicated on Sunday evening that the parliamentary voting would follow a national referendum on a constitutional revision to be held Nov. 1, a highly symbolic date marking the start of this North African nation’s seven-year war with France for independence that began Nov. 1, 1954.
The next National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, which “will be made up of lawmakers from universities, civil society, will serve as the base of the ‘New Algeria,’” Tebboune said in an interview with two Algerian newspapers.
“If the people want change, it is time to work to not remain in the ambiguity that prevailed earlier.”
Tebboune was referring to the corruption that highlighted the 20 years of power of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, forced to resign in April 2019 amid growing peaceful street protests and a push from the then-Army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah, who died in December.

If the people want change, it is time to work to not remain in the ambiguity that prevailed earlier.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of Algeria

Tebboune was elected promising change, including a new parliament, though the vote was largely boycotted by the protest movement, the Hirak.
The term of the widely discredited current lower house, elected in 2017, was originally set to end in May 2022.
A new electoral law foreseen in the constitutional revision “will put in place safeguards to keep dirty money out of politics,” the president said, adding that with the constitutional revision Algeria would “truly be at the service of the citizen and not at the service of a group exercising domination.”
Numerous business leaders and two prime ministers have been jailed on corruption charges since the downfall of Bouteflika. During a trial last week, lawmaker Baha Eddine Tliba admitted to paying the former chief of the powerful FLN party Djamel Ould Abbas, to be placed on his list of candidates to ensure him a parliamentary seat.