PA President Mahmoud Abbas attends the Arab League's foreign ministers meeting to discuss unannounced U.S. blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian peace, in Cairo, Egypt, April 21, 2019..
(photo credit: MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the Deal of the Century, will not pass because it ends the Palestinian cause, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday.
Abbas, who was speaking during a meeting of Fatah leaders in Ramallah, said that the Palestinians will not attend the US-led economic conference in the Bahraini capital of Manama, which is expected to begin on June 25, “because there can be no economic solution before there’s a political solution.”
Abbas’s remarks came as several Palestinian factions called for mass demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to protest against the Bahrain conference. The demonstrations will begin on June 24 and continue until the end of the conference on June 26.
The protests will be held under the banner “The Manama Workshop is Treason.”
The Palestinian ruling Fatah faction on Saturday called on Arabs to stage demonstrations in front of Bahrain embassies in their countries to protest the economic workshop.
“We appeal to the masses of our Arab nation to go to the embassies of Bahrain in all capitals to condemn this disgraceful position,” Fatah said in a statement. “We call for the cancellation of the workshop. Our people will continue their struggle, reject humiliation and defend their freedom and dignity. Let everyone rise to denounce this Zionist-American terrorism, which is backed by traitors from our nation.”
The PA president also repeated the Palestinians’ refusal to receive tax funds as long as Israel continues to deduct payments made by the PA to families of security prisoners and “martyrs.” Israel, he said, must pay the full amount of money, “and if there is any issue that needs to be discussed, we are ready for such discussions afterwards.”
The Palestinians, Abbas added, don’t accept the deduction of any payments “on the pretext that we pay the families of martyrs and prisoners. We are prepared for dialogue with Israel – if they wish – not only about this issue, but all other topics, including economic and financial issues.”
The PLO Executive Committee is scheduled to hold a meeting in Ramallah on Sunday to discuss issues related to the Bahrain conference and the yet-to-be-announced Deal of the Century, a PLO official told The Jerusalem Post.
He said that the PLO leaders will discuss ways of foiling Trump’s unseen plan and the Palestinian response to Israeli and US policies towards the Palestinians.
The official said that the PLO committee will also study the possibility of implementing previous recommendations by PLO and Fatah institutions to “revise” relations with Israel. “We believe it’s time for us to revise our ties with Israel in light of Israeli and American policies and decisions that contradict international laws,” he added.
Some Palestinian officials have urged the PA leadership to revoke Palestinian recognition of Israel and halt security coordination between the Palestinians and Israel in the West Bank.
Saleh Ra’fat, member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that Sunday’s meeting will discuss plans to hold mass protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip against the Bahrain conference and the Deal of the Century.
He said that all Palestinians were united in rejecting the Bahrain conference and urged Arab countries to boycott the gathering. “The US plan can’t achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians because it completely ignores the resolutions of international legitimacy,” he added.
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