Palestinians Burn Effigy of US President Trump at Anti-Peace Initiative Rally Attended by Israeli-Arab Lawmaker
Supporters of the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party held a rally in the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday to celebrate President Mahmoud Abbas’ rejection of a forthcoming American peace proposal.
Attendees at the event — which included Israeli-Arab Knesset member Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List faction — waved Palestinian flags and cheered as an effigy of US President Donald Trump was ignited and burned.
“Nablus is now putting the deal of the century on trial,” one speaker at the rally declared, according to a translation by the Palestinian Media Watch research institute.
Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul was seen making a victory sign as Trump’s effigy was engulfed in flames.
Top Palestinian officials have strongly denounced the expected White House peace plan, with a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee saying last month that the administration was “living under an illusion” if it believed the initiative could garner “Arab or Palestinian support.”
Tensions between the PA and White House, heightened since Trump’s election in 2016, escalated after the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December, abiding by a law passed by Congress in 1995 and deferred by subsequent US administrations.
The PA, which seeks eastern portions of the city as a capital for a future state, cut off official contacts with the US following the move, and refused to meet with Vice President Mike Pence and other American representatives as they toured the region.
US financial support to the Palestinians has also taken a hit in recent months. Congress passed the Taylor Force Act in March, slashing US aid to the PA until it stops paying salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists and their families. The legislation was named after a US Army veteran and Vanderbilt University graduate student killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack while visiting Israel in 2016.
A month later, the chief of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said Washington, formerly its leading donor, had reduced its contribution by some $305 million, triggering what the agency called a “severe” funding crisis. The State Department has indicated that future funding to UNRWA would be contingent on the implementation of reforms, and called on other countries to increase their own contributions to the agency.