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  • Hanan Ahrawi criticizes U.S. administration’s Middle East peace plan it drew up for Israel and Palestine.

    Hanan Ahrawi criticizes U.S. administration’s Middle East peace plan it drew up for Israel and Palestine. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 June 2019

Hanan Ashrawi, leader within the PLO slams Jared Kushner’s 'deal of the century,' calling it a 'fictitious economic plan.'

Hanan Ashrawi, the veteran political activist and executive committee member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) called Jared Kushner’s “deal of the century” a “fictitious economic plan.”

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Via video conference Tuesday at the Arab Center in Washington, D.C., Ashrawi questioned the Trump administration's proposals for Middle East peace plan.

She questioned the so-called “deal of the century” whose release date has been repeatedly postponed.

"So far, the only thing we have seen of this deal are the concrete steps that the U.S. took that are prejudicial and illegal and in full, blind support for the most extreme elements of Israel, and (its) sort of fictitious economic plan," said Ashrawi.

Palestinians are already living under effects of Trump’s policies in the region, which includes cutting off aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), closing the PLO office in Washington, and transferring the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the activist said.

A leaked draft of the deal was published in early May that calls for the creation of “New Palestine.” This 'New Palestine' will not be allowed an army, will required Palestine and Israel to share Jerusalem as a capital, and all illegal settlements in the West Bank will become a part of Israel.

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Palestinian leaders have repeatedly rejected the deal saying it favors Israel. They are boycotting the U.S.-led conference in Bahrain later this month where the White House will unveil the first part of the plan. 

According to the U.S., the "economic workshop" at the conference will bring together government officials and business leaders from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as some national finance ministers. The conference is organized to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Palestinian leaders have encouraged other nation to not take part in the summit, to which Kushner accused the PLO of depriving Palestinians of opportunities for new investments and economic benefits.

Ashrawi rejected the accusation saying that the U.S. is offering Palestinians “cosmetic changes” to make their “prison cell a bit more palatable.”

"Who's going to invest in a state that is under siege or in a state that has hundreds of checkpoints, or in a place where you have no security and no stability," the PLO official said Tuesday.

However, the “issue is not money, the issue is the occupation” according to Ashrawi.

"The issue is the fact that we have no rights, that Israel steals our land and our resources, controls our boundaries, our entry and exit points, our airspace, our territorial waters; it controls our lives,” stated the veteran activist.

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