Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Palestinians protest against US-led Bahrain conference


By F.T Hupsel - June 25, 2019
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [US foreign policy] [Peace Process]

Thousands of Palestinians protested in various West Bank cities and the Gaza strip Monday 24 June, reaffirming their complete rejection of the 'Deal of the Century’, which is set to be initially presented during the US-led workshop in Bahrain on June 25-26. 

Protests are likely to escalate on Tuesday and Wednesday when the Bahrain meeting is expected to be in session.

The Ramallah demonstration was organised by President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, during the march that started at the Manara Square, political leaders denounced the US peace plan.

General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI), Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, told Palestine Monitor that it’s not a plan for peace or negotiations, but a plan to liquidate the Palestinian rights, to end the dream of having an independent and free state.

“There is only one way for peace and prosperity, and that is the end of the Israeli occupation and the system of apartheid it has created,” Barghouti said.


A member of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Union, Khaled Assaf, told Palestine Monitor that only when the political situation is resolved and Israel ends its occupation, economic prosperity can be developed, and not the other way around.


“We refuse what is happening in Bahrain because what they refuse to address, is what is most important to us. This is what Palestinians have been fighting for so many decades,” Assaf said.


On Saturday 22 June, the Trump administration unveiled a $50 billion investment plan and infrastructure proposal, intended to be an economic engine to assist the development of the Palestinian economy together with other Arab states.

Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, immediately rejected the plan, saying the “economic situation should not be discussed before the political one”.

“As long as there is no political solution, we do not deal with any economic solution," Abbas said. 

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. 


The Palestinian government expressed disappointment over the decision by Arab states to participate.

 


Senior Fatah and PLO official, Azzam al-Ahmad, told Anadolu agency that he believes Arab leaders are being pressured into carrying out this conference, referring to them as his “Arab friends and brothers”.


“The decision is not surprising. They have special ties with the United States and we cannot judge the circumstances that caused them to participate, but we are certain that their participation will be symbolic and not at a high level,” Ahmad said.


Jordan foreign ministry spokesman, Sufyan al-Qudah, stated that “no economic proposal could replace a political solution that ends the occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel.”


President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has also stressed that Egypt will not agree to any US plan the Palestinians reject.


Regarding Israel, the White House announced earlier this week that invitations to Jerusalem would be limited to business leaders, rather than government officials.


Meanwhile, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have come together to host their own summit to discuss the future of Palestine, in a meeting that will take place at the exact same time as Bahrain’s “Deal of the Century” conference on 25-26 June.


Hamas representatives in Lebanon also announced the Islamist group will be participating in the parallel “Deal of the Century” conference, which aims to discuss the future of Palestine.

 

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