Palestinian Protesters Reject US-Sponsored Bahrain Meeting on So-called "Deal of the Century"

Thousands of Palestinians have staged rallies in both the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip to express their resentment at a forthcoming US-led conference in Bahrain, which would seek to advance President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for alleged “peace” between the Israeli occupation entity and the Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century.”

According to Press TV, rallies were held in several West Bank cities, including Ramallah, Tulkarm, al-Khalil, Yatta, Halhoul, Nablus, Jenin and Bethlehem, where participants waved the national Palestinian flag and hoisted signs in condemnation of the Bahrain conference, which is scheduled for June 25-26. They also denounced American plans to undermine the Palestinian struggle for independence and statehood.

 The demonstrators also burned posters of both Trump and Bahrain's monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

Mahmoud Barhoush, 25, said he didn't know whether to laugh or cry at what he called Arab states' "treasonous" participation in the US-led confab.

 “Enough of your running into the arms of Trump and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” he said at the Ramallah protest.

In the Gaza Strip, crowds burned large paintings of Trump marked with the words: “Deal of the Devil.”

“Down with Bahrain, down with Trump, down with the Manama conference,” chanted the demonstrators.

“The Manama conference is a comedy show, a wedding without the bride (the Palestinians) ... it will not succeed,” said a protester who gave her name as Siham in Gaza City.

Also on Monday, Palestinian leaders renewed their calls for a boycott of the Manama conference.

“This workshop is simply a political laundry for settlements and a legitimization of occupation,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told journalists ahead of a cabinet meeting.

Kushner's economic plan for Mideast amounts to Balfour Declaration II, Palestinians say

On Sunday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has dismissed US President Donald Trump’s economic vision as part of the proposal dubbed “the deal of the century,” describing it as a new version of the Balfour Declaration.

“This project does not talk about the economy of the Palestinian state and its components, but tries to whitewash the occupation and settlement,” the ministry said in a statement released yesterday.

 It added, “The Trump team is trying to restrict the Palestinian economy with the chains of occupation while depriving it of any opportunity to prosper and develop as an independent state economy. This [prosperity] cannot happen under occupation, settlements, the theft of the Palestinian land and the takeover of the Palestinian natural resources."

“Day after day, the reality of the American intentions and attitudes against the Palestinian people and their rights unfolds in what can be called the obnoxious Trump Declaration or the Balfour Declaration II, which denies the existence of the Palestinian people," the ministry underlined.

 The statement noted, “[America] is dealing with the Palestinian people as a population group that was found by accident in this place that has been given by Trump to the Israelis.”

 “The Trump administration is reproducing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict using new templates and does not seek to solve it in any way. The problem of this type of thinking is its theoretical nature and its complete alienation from reality,” it concluded.

The $50 billion so-called "peace to prosperity" plan, set to be presented by Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner at a US-led workshop in Bahrain on June 25-26, envisions a global investment fund to purportedly lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, has strongly condemned Kushner's plan.

“First, lift the siege of Gaza, stop the Israeli theft of our land, resources and funds, give us our freedom of movement and control over our borders, airspace, territorial waters etc,” she said in a post on her Twitter page.

Ashrawi added, “Then, watch us build a vibrant prosperous economy as a free and sovereign people.”

US author and Political Commentator John Steppling believes the so-called deal of the century has been created to expel Palestinians from their own land.

H.M