Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas once again rejects, as “a humiliating blackmail,” US President Donald Trump’s upcoming deal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hours after Washington released details about the economic aspect of the highly-controversial plan.
Speaking to officials of his Fateh party in Ramallah, on Saturday, Abbas said, “there can be no economic solution before there’s a political solution.”
He slammed the plan as a “humiliating blackmail” and said the deal “cannot pass because it ends the Palestinian cause,” Press TV/Al Ray reports.
The White House, on Saturday, unveiled the economic plan, which would inject $50 billion into struggling economies in the Middle East, over the next ten years.
Under the document, dubbed “Peace to Prosperity,” over half of the funds ($28 billion) would go toward the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the remaining to Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, which have absorbed Palestinian refugees.
It also includes a $5 billion “transportation network” to connect the West Bank and Gaza.
The economic portion of the US plan was released just three days before a US-led workshop in Manama, Bahrain, where the initiative is set to be discussed.
Elsewhere in his comments, Abbas stressed that the Palestinians would not attend the Bahrain conference.
“We are not going to attend this workshop, the reason is that the economic situation should not be discussed before a political situation, so long as there is no political situation, we do not deal with any economic situation,” he said.
All Palestinian factions have already boycotted the Bahrain event, arguing that Washington was offering financial rewards for Palestinians to accept the Israeli occupation.
Separately on Saturday, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeineh denounced both the Bahrain meeting and Trump’s “peace” plan, called the “Deal of the Century”.
“The American administration is committing daily mistakes against the Palestinian people. Without Palestinian approval, there is no value to any meeting, and without a political horizon, no one will deal with any effort. This conference was born dead just like the deal of the century,” he said.
Additionally, Arab Israeli lawmaker Ayman Odeh slammed Trump’s proposal, stressing that the only solution to the conflict is ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state.
“Somebody has to explain to Trump that not everything can be bought for money, certainly not the just national aspirations of the Palestinian people,” he tweeted.
However, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser — who has been in charge of drawing up the deal — described the economy first approach as “necessary” and “less controversial.”
(PNN archive image)