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.
The Trump administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan drew criticism at the United Nations Wednesday, with European and UN officials saying Palestinians should not be coerced into selling off rights to run their own country.
“The two state solution is dead. Palestinians have to move on and press for equal rights in a unitary state. That will take a generation, if not longer, but I see no alternative.” Ed Abington once negotiated the Oslo accords for the State Department. Now he sees denial of visa to Hanan Ashrawi as landmark event.
In preparation for the U.S. peace plan that is widely expected to favor Israel, Palestinian officials are urging the EU to host a major conference that would undercut the preeminent US role in the peace process. Could it be enough to counter the Trump administration’s plan?
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.
Jared Kushner recently claimed Palestinians have “gotten more aid than any group of people in history, and what we have to show for it is really not much”. But he missed Israel. Israel beats Palestine on this count, and it’s much worse.
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.
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.”
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.”