Abbas considers abandoning Trump's proposed peace deal
The president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) hinted on Saturday that he may reject US President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East.
Mahmoud Abbas said Trump's peace deal is based on a revision of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for the normalisation of relations between Israel and a number of Arab nations in exchange for a full withdrawal by Israeli forces from borders set up in 1967.
"'It's time to end the occupation and for Israel to recognise the Palestinian state," said Abbas.
"We are still reaching out for peace and our duty for future generations is to put an end to the conflict."
Israeli media reports suggest Abbas is not keen on the peace deal, however, as it normalises the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
A senior PA official told Israel's Hayom newspaper on Sunday the plan only required Arab states to recognise Israel's existence.
"Until now, what hindered progress in the advance of the Arab Peace Initiative was the failure of negotiations with Israel," the official said.
"President Trump is interested in advancing a different thought process within the framework of the deal."
Both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have signalled their agreement to the 2002 agreement in the past.
"There are positive aspects and negative aspects to it," Netanyahu said in 2015.
"This initiative is 13 years old, and the situation in the Middle East has changed since it was first proposed.
"But the general idea - to try and reach understandings with leading Arab countries - is a good idea."
The agreement would create a establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem.