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Illusions worth billions

Palestine opposes the American "deal of the century»

Illusions worth billions

The Palestinians, the country's leadership represented by head of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestine Liberation Organization will not accept Donald Trump's "deal of the century". After all, the latter does not essentially provide for implementing the basic requirements. Those are: the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Israel's withdrawal to those borders, which includes the leadout of illegal Jewish settlements, as well as entitling the Palestinian refugees, millions of whom are scattered throughout the Middle East, to return home.

In fact, the American President abandoned the policy of his predecessors and moved away from the idea of a two-state settlement of the conflict. In December 2017, his administration recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv there. Moreover, the Americans cut the aid to the Palestinians by hundreds of millions of dollars and closed their diplomatic mission in Washington. The PNA believes, not without concern, that the "deal of the century" includes transferring control over the holy sites in East Jerusalem to the joint Arab administration and granting a special status to Saudi Arabia in the Al-Aqsa mosque. This, according to the incoming information, is what Jordan fears, being the guardian of Jerusalem shrines.

The PNA stance is formed according to the steps that the Americans have done and are still going to do. That is a rejection of normalized relations with Israel and the approval of economic decisions that perpetuate the occupation. This also motivated the Palestinians' opposition to the conference which Washington held on June 25-26 in the capital of Bahrain, Manama. Besides, the PNA called on the Arab States to boycott it, because in the framework of this event, economic problems were prioritized over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict political settlement.

At the same time, the meeting did not even consider the most pressing issues, namely the final borders of the Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. Instead, the Palestinians were essentially offered economic preferences if signing on to the peace agreement's political parameters. But this is a blind alley. It is not for nothing that head of the PNA Mahmoud Abbas said that the one wishing to solve the Palestinian problem should start with political issues, not with selling illusions worth billions (of dollars).

The PNA believes that the US is trying to enlist support of other Arab states to force them to accept the "deal of the century", which will legalize Israeli control over the West Bank. What the Palestinian authorities seriously fear is the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab countries. At that, they have repeatedly made it clear that they will reject any peace plan proposed by the United States, and have already launched their own campaign aimed to ensure the Palestinians' legitimate rights.

First of all, the PNA indicates that the Americans do not consult with its leadership on any issues, be it the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the transfer of the US Embassy there, holding a meeting in Bahrain and the general "deal of the century" concept definition. In this regard, there is talk in West Bank's ruling Fatah party about a possible national reconciliation with Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip. What is meant here is at least a temporary alliance to establish a united Palestinian front against the "deal of the century". In addition, the ground is being prepared to adopt a law to criminalize any contacts with the Jewish West Bank settlements.

In other words, the Palestinians are gearing up to a long and difficult campaign against US plans. And in this context, the intention of American negotiators Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to sell the "deal of the century" to the Arab rulers to help soften the position of Palestine, has obviously not justified itself. Consequently, the Palestinian problem, despite all the US endeavors, remains a key challenge for Israel.

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