A senior figure in the Palestinian Authority said Monday that any Palestinian who supports the long-anticipated U.S. peace plan for the Middle East “would be nothing but a collaborator” for the United States and Israel.
Ahmad Majdalani, the Palestinian minister for social affairs and a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, made the comments after the U.S. announced Sunday that it will host a conference in Bahrain next month to unveil the economic aspects of the deal.
“There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop,” he vowed.
The Palestinian leadership’s response to U.S. peace efforts has been marked by a policy of total rejectionism, even before details of the plan were leaked. The PA has shown no interest to participate in ongoing discussions led by Jason Greenblatt, the White House chief negotiator, and senior advisor, Jared Kushner.
In July, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, stated that the plan would be “dead on arrival.” PA President Mahmoud Abbas in November described it as “the slap of the century.”
On Monday, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters that any attempts to promote “an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected.” He also charged that the Palestinian leadership was not consulted about the summit in Bahrain.
Abbas has yet to comment on whether he would send a delegation to the kingdom, but a spokesperson for the leader said in a statement that the U.S. plan is “futile.”
Israeli media reported Monday that a delegation led by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon will be invited to the summit co-hosted by the United States and Bahrain on June 25-26, in a move toward normalized relations between Jerusalem and the Arab world.
On Sunday, Kushner said the Manama workshop would be an “opportunity to present our ideas for creating greater economic vibrancy in the region.”
“The Palestinian people, along with all people in the Middle East, deserve a future with dignity and the opportunity to better their lives,” he said in a statement.
[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube]