The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has called on the international community to boycott a forthcoming US conference in Bahrain which Palestinians view as a platform to sell out their rights.
Washington announced, last week, that it would co-host the June 25-26 meeting in Bahrainâ€™s capital city of Manama, purportedly to encourage investment in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
However, Palestinian officials say the real aim is to pave the ground for the Trump administration to unveil its much-hyped â€śDeal of the Century,â€ť which they have already rejected as a non-starter.
â€śThe PLO affirms its final opposition to the conference and it hasnâ€™t authorized any party to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people,â€ť the PLO Executive Committee said in a statement, on Sunday.
â€śThe goal pursued by the US for the workshop is to start implementing the deal of the century and link it to economy after it takes steps in implementing the political parts of the deal,â€ť the PLO added.
It said that the deal would â€śenforce the Israeli occupation and erase the national and legal rights of the Palestinian people.â€ť
The PLO stressed its rejection of the controversial US plan, saying the organization â€śis sticking to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.â€ť
US President Donald Trump is reportedly about to unveil the plan at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and after the formation of a new Israeli cabinet, most likely in June.
On Saturday, PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat also called on all countries to boycott the conference, saying it â€świll surely fail without Palestinian participation.â€ť
Erekat said the Arab nations which have agreed to join the workshop in Manama â€śat the expense of the Palestinian peopleâ€ť should â€śreconsider their participation.â€ť
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced that they will participate in the conference. Israelâ€™s finance minister Moshe Kahlon also intends to attend, Al Ray reports.
Erekat described the Trump administration â€śa cornerstone of the extreme right-wing Israeli ideology,â€ť saying the US was â€śsowing fear in the region.â€ť
He further dismissed comments made by US Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt, who said the Manama workshop has the â€śpotential to unlock a prosperous future for the Palestinians.â€ť
â€śPalestineâ€™s full economic potential can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation, respecting international law and UN resolutions,â€ť said Erekat.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.