Palestinians reject plan for economic workshop to launch US peace proposal

Jason Greenblatt, left, and Jared Kushner at a session of the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East conference in Warsaw, Poland, Feb. 14, 2019. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Palestinian leaders have rejected a plan for an economic workshop announced as the first part of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan.

The Palestinians said they were not consulted on the plan to hold the conference next month in Bahrain.

Finance ministers and global and regional business leaders will meet June 25-26 in Manama to encourage capital investment in the West Bank, Gaza and countries in the region, CNN first reported Sunday.

Jared Kushner, the President Donald Trump’s son-in law and senior White House adviser, and White House Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt have worked on the peace proposal since the beginning of the Trump presidency. The plan contains both political and economic components and reportedly will be announced later this year.

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The Palestinian Authority’s social affairs minister, Ahmed Majdalani, told Reuters that the Palestinians will not participate.

“Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel,” he said.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said in a statement released Monday that the Palestinian leadership was “not consulted by any party” on the Bahrain conference.

“The Trump Administration’s vision is being implemented on the ground with their decisions and positions on Jerusalem, settlements and refugees, among others.

“All efforts to make the oppressor and the oppressed coexist are doomed to fail. Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected. This is not about improving living conditions under occupation but about reaching Palestine’s full potential by ending the Israeli occupation.”

A leading Palestinian businessman, Bashar al Masri, announced in a Facebook post that he will not participate in the conference, saying “we will not deal with any event outside the Palestinian national consensus.”