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Deal of the Century

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with the American delegation led by the advisor to U.S. President Jared Kouchner, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 24, 2017. (Photo: Osama Falah/APA Images)

The Palestinian Authority is in crisis, and high rates of poverty and unemployment, few prospects of free and democratic presidential elections, and the unveiling of the widely unpopular American “deal of the century” around the corner, will only exacerbate the already dire situation. “The collapse of the PA is definitely something we could see happening, especially if this financial and political situation worsens,” Palestine Policy Fellow at Al-Shabaka, Dr. Yara Hawari, told Mondoweiss.

Palestinian officials are doubling down on their plans to boycott a US-led conference in Bahrain next month aimed at garnering regional support for President Donald Trump’s peace plan. However, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two major regional players, announced Tuesday evening that they would be sending delegations to participate. The Saudis and the Emiratis, who in recent years have significantly warmed relations with Israel, are the first two Arab powers to announce participation in the event.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has urged European nations to sanction Israel for illegally grabbing Palestinian land, saying the US Trump administration’s expected peace plan will do nothing to bring about Middle East peace. “They have to start thinking about sanctions, boycotting, Israeli policies, actions, the relationship, review their strategic bilateral relations with Israel — as [the] European Union and as individual countries,” al-Maliki told Mondoweiss.

Palestinians in the West Bank respond to the Trump administration's upcoming "deal of the century."

The buzz surrounding President Trump’s “deal of the century” is reaching a fever pitch. With countless speculations as to what the plan will include and very little confirmation from the administration, not much is actually known about the elusive plan. What we do know, is Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a staunch supporter of Israel and the Netanyahu government, plans to emphasize Israeli “security” and “economic opportunities” for Palestinians. With no mention so far of Palestinian sovereignty and statehood, we asked Palestinians in the West Bank what they think of the peace proposal and its impending release.

Ambassador Dr. Riyad Mansour

The Trump administration’s long-awaited plan peace for the Middle East is really a cover for Israel’s annexation of West Bank settlements, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Riyad Mansour said Tuesday. “Some in the administration, they think: ‘Yes, what will help peace is break the legs of the Palestinians, break one arm and five teeth, and when they are on the ground they will come crawling to you for anything you offer them’,” Mansour said. “Those who think that way don’t know the Palestinians.”

President Donald Trump talks with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jared Kushner in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017.

A leaked document of “main points” from the Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century” was published today by Yisrael Hayom, outlining a plan for a two-state solution that includes the creation of a demilitarized state of “New Palestine,” Israeli annexation of all settlements in the West Bank, a land deal with Egypt, and shared capitals in Jerusalem.If either Israel or the Palestinians, including Hamas and the PLO, reject the deal, the document says the U.S. will impose steep penalties. The U.S. will cut off all aid to Israel and ensure “no country in the world transfers money” to the Palestinians, whose economy is reliant on foreign donors.If the PLO accepts the plan and Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza reject it, the document warns “the U.S. will back Israel to personally harm leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad” in a future escalation, and will hold Hamas’ leadership “responsible in another round of violence between Israel and Hamas.”