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Palestinians Stand Together in Rejection of Trump's Peace Plan
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=81"><span class="small">Reuters</span></a>   
Monday, 24 June 2019 08:14

Excerpt: "Arab politicians and commentators greeted U.S. President Donald Trump’s $50 billion Middle East economic vision with a mixture of derision and exasperation."

Palestinian protesters hurl stones towards Israeli troops during clashes near Gaza border. (photo: Reuters)
Palestinian protesters hurl stones towards Israeli troops during clashes near Gaza border. (photo: Reuters)


Palestinians Stand Together in Rejection of Trump's Peace Plan

By Reuters

24 June 19


“We don’t need the Bahrain meeting to build our country, we need peace, and the sequence of (the plan) - economic revival followed by peace is unrealistic and an illusion,” Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara said on Sunday.

.S. President Donald Trump and his son in-law/adviser Jared Kushner are preparing to unveil their so-called “deal of the century” at the Bahrain Summit this week.

Arab politicians and commentators greeted U.S. President Donald Trump’s $50 billion Middle East economic vision with a mixture of derision and exasperation, although some in the Gulf called for it to be given a chance.

Despite the U.S.’ optimism, several Arab leaders and states have expressed their apprehension and disapproval of this plan.

The Palestinian Authority is boycotting the Bahrain meeting, saying only a political solution will solve the problem. It said Kushner’s “abstract promises” were an attempt to bribe Palestinians into accepting Israeli occupation.

“We don’t need the Bahrain meeting to build our country, we need peace, and the sequence of (the plan) - economic revival followed by peace is unrealistic and an illusion,” Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara said on Sunday.

Joining the Palestinian Authority in rejection of Trump’s plan is Hamas, who was not invited to the Bahrain Summit.

Egyptian liberal and leftist parties slammed the conference as an attempt to “consecrate and legitimize” occupation of Arab land and said in a joint statement that any Arab participation would be “beyond the limits of normalization” with Israel.

While the precise outline of the political plan has been shrouded in secrecy, officials briefed on it say Kushner has jettisoned the two-state solution - the long-standing worldwide formula that envisages an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

-Israeli Perspective-

In Israel, Tzachi Hanegbi, a Cabinet member close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, described Palestinians’ rejection of the “peace to prosperity” plan as tragic.

On Israel Radio, Hanegbi said Washington had tried to create “a little more trust and positivity” by presenting an economic vision but had touched a raw nerve for Palestinians.

“They are still convinced that the whole matter of an economic peace is a conspiracy, aimed only at plying them with funds for projects and other goodies only so they will forget their nationalist aspirations. This is of course just paranoia, but it’s another tragedy for the Palestinians,” he said.

-Gulf Role-

U.S.-allied Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will take part in the Bahrain gathering along with officials from Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel Jubeir, said anything that improves the Palestinians’ situation should be welcomed but that addressing the political process in resolving the conflict with Israel was “extremely important”.

“The Palestinians are the ones who have the ultimate decision in this, because it’s their issue and so whatever the Palestinians accept, I believe everybody else will accept,” he said on Sunday in an interview with broadcaster France 24.

-Exit Lebanon and Iraq-

Both Lebanon and Iraq have announced that they will be boycotting the upcoming conference in solidarity with Palestine.

“Those who think that waving billions of dollars can lure Lebanon, which is under the weight of a suffocating economic crisis, into succumbing or bartering over its principles are mistaken,” the Lebanese parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, said.

Hezbollah has also condemned the Bahrain Summit, calling Trump’s plan a “historical mistake”.

The withdrawal of Lebanon and Iraq is a big blow to the Trump plan, as the former is neighboring state and the latter is one of their closest allies in the Middle East.

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