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  • Palestinians during a protest against Bahrain's workshop for U.S. peace plan, in the southern Gaza Strip June 18, 2019.

    Palestinians during a protest against Bahrain's workshop for U.S. peace plan, in the southern Gaza Strip June 18, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 June 2019
Opinion

“Trump administration is re-producing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict using new templates and does not seek to solve it in any way,” the ministry said.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates described the United States-led economic plan for the Middle East as Balfour Declaration II.

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In 1917, the British government issued a public statement known as the Balfour Declaration which announced the creation of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

“This project does not talk about the economy of the Palestinian state and its components, but tries to whitewash the occupation and settlement,” the foreign ministry’s press release says.

“Day after day,” the ministry added, “the reality of the American [U.S.] intentions and attitudes against the Palestinian people and their rights unfolds in what can be called the obnoxious Trump Declaration or the Balfour Declaration II, which denies the existence of the Palestinian people.”

In conclusion, the ministry said the “Trump administration is re-producing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict using new templates and does not seek to solve it in any way” and their peace plan is completely removed from reality.

The White House Saturday outlined a US$50 billion Middle East economic plan known as “deal of the century” that would create a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies, and fund a US$5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that the political situation should be discussed before economy. "As long as there is no political solution, we do not deal with any economic solution,” he said.

Kushner’s "economy first" approach has led Palestinian leaders—and the vast majority of its business community—to boycott the conference set to be held in Bahrain’s Manama, June 25-26.

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Hanan Ashrawi, veteran political activist and executive committee member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) called the deal a “fictitious economic plan” that is "prejudicial and illegal" toward Palestine.

Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara said Sunday that Palestinians don’t need this week’s U.S.-led Bahrain meeting to develop their country.

“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,” Bishara said. “First of all give us our land and our freedom.”

In an address to Sunday’s meeting at Arab League headquarters, Bishara cited the “bitter experience” of the Palestinians since the 1993 Oslo Accords, including the U.S. decision to cut aid to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees.

“We are careful and skeptical of what is called the deal of the century - or what was called a couple of days ago, the opportunity of the century,” Bishara said.

Palestinians have called for a three days protest against the Bahrain conference which is supposed to start Tuesday, in West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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