Mandela rights group slams Palestine plan

Special Mandela rights group slams Palestine plan
A Palestinian demonstrator argues with Israeli forces during a protest against the US president Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 29, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 30 January 2020

Mandela rights group slams Palestine plan

Mandela rights group slams Palestine plan
  • The plan “cannot provide a workable solution” to the conflict, said the NGO

LONDON: The Elders, an international human rights NGO founded by the late Nelson Mandela, has slammed US President Donald Trump’s “peace plan” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The plan “cannot provide a workable solution” to the conflict, said the NGO, which is led by former Irish President Mary Robinson.

The Elders added that implementing the plan “would make the two-state solution impossible, entrenching deep inequality along ethnic lines and moving the decades-old conflict into a new phase.”

In a statement, the group — previously chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Archbishop Desmond Tutu — urged the international community to “emphasize — urgently — that the acquisition of territory through force is illegal, and would result in countermeasures beyond rhetorical condemnation.”

The Elders said: “The proposed annexation of further occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank … creates a dangerous precedent for the acquisition of territory by force, with implications well beyond the region.” 

It added: “The unilateral effort to redefine the status of Jerusalem in favor of one side is provocative and dangerous. Moreover, the absence of any credible plan for Gaza means a major element of the conflict is simply unaddressed.”

Ban Ki-moon, deputy chair of The Elders and former UN secretary-general, said: “The best, most logical and just solution is to provide two states for the two peoples, based on the internationally recognized 1967 borders.”

He added: “Unilateral declarations that exclude and humiliate one party to the conflict are counter-productive.”

Another Elder, Lakhdar Brahimi — former UN and Arab League special envoy to Syria, former Algerian foreign minister and a veteran of his country’s liberation struggle — said: “This is a conflict rooted in injustice, dispossession and disdain for rights and law. Abandoning negotiations and imposing annexation will only entrench these problems. The international community knows this is a unilateral act of folly.”

Trump’s plan has faced heavy international scrutiny, with no Palestinian leaders supporting it.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a “conspiracy” that “will not pass.” Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhr said: “Palestine will prevail, and Trump and the deal will go to the dustbin of history.”