Palestine rejected a U.S.-led conference for economic investment in West Bank and Gaza as part of their "deal of the century."
The Palestinians will not attend a United States-led conference in Bahrain next month that the Trump administration has cast as a preliminary roll-out of its “deal of the century” for them to make peace with Israel, a Palestinian cabinet minister said Monday.
The White House will unveil the first part of the plan in late June to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, senior U.S. officials said Sunday.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that his government had not been consulted on the June 25-26 gathering in Manama.
After the cabinet met, Ahmed Majdalani, the social development minister and a member of the executive committee of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization, said, “There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop.”
“Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel.”
According to the U.S., the “economic workshop” will bring together government officials and business leaders from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as some finance ministers.
Israeli leaders have not commented on the conference. Israel’s finance minister, Moshe Kahlon, said through a spokesman Sunday that he had yet to receive an invitation.
“The financial crisis the Palestinian Authority is living through today is a result of the financial war that is being launched against us in order to win political concessions,” Shtayyeh told his cabinet. “We do not submit to blackmail and we don’t trade our political rights for money.”
Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas also condemned the Bahrain conference.
“We reject any economic and political steps that aim to implement the deal of the century or to normalize ties with the Israeli enemy,” Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters.
“Our position is clear: we will neither participate in the economic segment nor in the political segment of this deal,” said Palestine Liberation Organization senior official Wasel Abu Youssef.
A draft of the deal was leaked in early May. The draft outlined a plan for a two-state solution which includes the creation of “New Palestine.” This new Palestine will not be allowed to have an army, share Jerusalem as the capital of both countries and all the illegal settlements in West Bank will be part of Israel.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a recent meeting at the United Nations attended by Greenblatt that the United States seemed to be crafting a plan for a Palestinian surrender to Israel and insisted “there’s no amount of money that can make it acceptable.”