Palestinians decry, Israel commends Trump's UN address

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) has criticized an address delivered by U.S. President Donald Trump at Tuesday’s opening session of the UN General Assembly.

“What Trump said at the UN on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict deepens differences and sets back the chances for peace,” PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement carried by Palestine’s official WAFA news agency.

“Jerusalem will be the capital of a Palestinian state established on the pre-1967 borders, regardless of who accepts it or rejects it,” Abu Rudeineh said.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat also blasted Trump’s speech, saying it had “closed the doors on peace”.

“President Trump and his administration have closed the doors to peace; they cannot play a role in the peace process by moving their embassy to Jerusalem,” Erekat said in a statement.

“Because of the U.S. administration’s one-sided, pro-Israel decisions, peace between Palestinians and Israel has been derailed,” he added.

According to Erekat, the Trump administration “continues to reward those who violate international law and commit war crimes”.

He also lashed out at Trump for the latter’s rejection of The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

“His rejection of the ICC is a rejection of international law,” Erekat said.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, described Trump’s speech as a “superficial defense of unilateralism, isolationism and plain bullying”.

Israeli officials, for their part, lauded Trump’s speech before the UN General Assembly.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said it had “been a while” since there was a world leader who understood the Middle East as well as Trump.

“We have seen an impressive speech by U.S. President Donald Trump at the club of hypocrites and sycophants called the ‘United Nations’,” Lieberman tweeted.

“I hope world leaders will listen to and internalize Trump’s speech,” he added.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, meanwhile, said Trump’s address had shown “that the U.S. is on the right side of history”.

“While standing on Israel’s side in the struggle for stability in the Middle East, the U.S. is leading the UN into a new era that ends its obsession with Israel and pushes back against the Iranian regime,” Danon said in a statement.