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Palestinians say Warsaw conference 'normalises' Israeli occupation

Netanyahu and Pence at the Middle East Summit in Warsaw, Poland [Getty Images]

Date of publication: 15 February, 2019

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An advisor to President Abbas said the Warsaw conference "normalises" the Israeli occupation. The Palestinians have refused to attend the Middle East summit in Warsaw.
The Warsaw conference lacks credibility as it sets out to "normalise" the Israeli occupation of Palestine, a Palestinian official said in remarks published Thursday.

"By fully siding with the Israeli government, (the Americans) have tried to normalise the Israeli occupation and the systematic denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination," Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, wrote in a column published by Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

The Palestinians have refused to attend the two day conference jointly organised by US President Donald Trump's administration, calling it an "American conspiracy".

Focused on security in the Middle East with a particular emphasis on Iran, Jared Kushner, Trump's son in law, is also expected to reveal details of the Trump administration's long-anticipated peace plan for Israel and Palestine.

"A peace process cannot be turned into an attempt to obtain amnesty for war crimes or to make one of the parties surrender its basic rights under the UN charter," Shaath wrote.

What Kushner dubs the "deal of the century," policy experts have slammed as "dead on arrival".

The Palestinians have not been included in the process since severing diplomatic relations with the US administration, after Trump moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as their respective capital.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month announced the two-day conference on peace and security in the Middle East starting Wednesday, saying that foreign ministers from around the world would come to Poland to take up the "destabilising influence" of Iran in the Middle East.

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