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West Bank to protest against Bahrain's 'pro-Israel' summit

Palestinians unanimously reject the Manama summit [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 June, 2019

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Protests are expected to take place across the occupied West Bank against the Bahrain-hosted 'Deal of the Century' summit due to take place next week.

The Palestinian Fatah movement announced plans for protests throughout the occupied West Bank against the upcoming US-sponsored 'Deal of the Century' summit in Bahrain.

A number of Palestinian cities will hold rallies and protests against the meeting due to take place in Bahrain’s capital city Manama on 25-26 June. 

Palestinians across the board view the Trump-backed summit as part of a US-led conspiracy against Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence from Israel.

In the Palestinian capital city of Ramallah, a rally will take place at midday on Monday at Manara Square in the town centre.

Protests, dubbed 'Days of escalation against the occupation' will be taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, parralel to the controversial Bahrain summit.

Meanwhile, all three main Palestinian political parties will meet in the Lebanese capital of Beirut to take part in a parallel summit to the Manama conference as a symbol of Palestinian sovereignty.

Delegations of Fatah, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have over the last two weeks been arriving in Beirut in preparation of their summit, seen as a snub to Arab states wanting to “normalise relations with Israel”.

On Saturday, the United States said its Middle East peace plan to be presented next week in Bahrain aims to raise more than $50 billion for the Palestinians and create one million jobs for them within a decade.

Unveiling details for the first time of its long-awaited peace initiative, President Donald Trump's administration said it was looking to attract unprecedented international investment to the Palestinians and to dramatically improve infrastructure and internal governance in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The conference, led by Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, is the opening of the US government's delayed peace effort, which officials say will later include a political component.

Palestinian boycott

The Bahrain conference is seen as a betrayal by Palestinians and a symbol of Arabs endorsing the US' plan for the future of the Middle East, despite the Trump administration's notorious support of Israel's illegal occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem.

The Bahrain conference is backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, despite a Palestinian boycott. Palestinians say they were not consulted about the conference.

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi quickly rejected the plan, saying that the United States should instead press Israel to allow the Palestinians to thrive.

"First lift the siege of Gaza, stop the Israeli theft of our land, resources and funds, give us our freedom of movement and control over our borders, airspace, territorial waters etc. Then watch us build a vibrant prosperous economy as a free and sovereign people," she tweeted.

The Palestinian leadership is deeply distrustful of Kushner, a family friend of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Trump, who has taken a series of landmark steps to support Israel including recognising bitterly divided Jerusalem as its capital.

US officials have hinted that the eventual peace plan will not mention the creation of an independent Palestinian state, a goal of decades of often intense US diplomacy.

Jason Greenblatt, a senior aide to Trump who crafted the peace plan alongside Kushner, said that the political component may come as late as November once Israel has a new government in place. 

The plan had already been held up due to Israel's elections in April, but the country is going to the polls again after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition.

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