Palestinians launch national campaign to protest against U.S.-led economic workshop

Palestinians launch national campaign to protest against U.S.-led economic workshop

RAMALLAH (Rahnuma):  Dozens of Palestinians organized a sit-in at West Bank’s Ramallah city center Saturday in protest of the U.S.-led economic workshop to be held in Bahrain next week.

Various Palestinian political parties and factions who organized the protest said they were planning to hold a series of national protest activities against the workshop, known as “Prosperity for Peace,” in an attempt to thwart it.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a press statement that the U.S. ideas for Middle East peace, known as “Deal of the Century,” was “minimized into a workshop and may only emerge as a paper outside the framework of international law and Arab legitimacy” due to Palestinians’ firm position against it.

“The president’s position in Mecca summit, the united Palestinian positions have led to an international consensus to protect the two-state solution and international law,” he said.

“The real aim of this economic paper is to avoid political negotiations on the basis of international legitimacy, which will eventually lead to an impasse,” he added.

Member of national factions secretariat Salah Khawaja, one of the protest organizers, told Xinhua that this sit-in and the following protests are “a unified Palestinian message,” and that they are called by all national factions and various constituents of the Palestinian civil society.

He affirmed that the protests will reach the peak when the workshop was held next week.

Spokesperson for Abbas’ Fatah party Osama Qawasmi told Xinhua in a telephone interview that the U.S. peace deal is a “disgrace,” and the protests are intended to go global.

Qawasmi said that “complementary to the political and diplomatic efforts, the protest activities will be mobilized by Palestinian communities around the world, including Palestinians living in Israel and Palestinian territories.”

A joint statement issued by the Bahraini and U.S. governments on May 19 said that Bahrain will host the “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop in Manama on June 25-26 to bring together finance ministers and business people.

Palestinians immediately opposed the idea of holding the conference, claiming they were not even consulted on it. Officials have been urging world governments to boycott the U.S.-led conference, saying it is part of the U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” which was rejected by the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority declared it has boycotted the American administration since it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem last May.

The U.S. administration has taken several steps against the Palestinians, including shutting down the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, cutting aid to the only UN agency providing support to the Palestinian refugees UNRWA and cutting aid to the Palestinians.

Since then, Abbas has repeatedly called for an international multilateral umbrella to overlook the peace process. Enditem

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