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Top Bahraini cleric slams US ‘deal of humiliation’ on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Bahrain’s top Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim

Bahrain’s top Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim has denounced Washington’s upcoming proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “deal of humiliation,” saying the actual parties to the deal are the United States and Israel, rather than Palestinians.

In a statement carried by Arabic-language Lua Lua TV network on Monday, Sheikh Qassim stressed the Palestinians' outright rejection  of the so-called “deal of the century.”

He also slammed the American deal as “a crime” against Palestinians as well as “an unjust liquidation of the Palestinian cause and a serious conspiracy on earth.”

The US-made plan is “a transaction of humiliation and disgrace” because it attempts to exchange the Palestinian “nation, land, sanctity, religion, unity, and even its presence with...a handful of money,” he added.

The Bahraini cleric further called on the Palestinian people to exercise vigilance and resistance against the plan, which he said would only bring shame to its supporters.

The so-called “deal of the century,” drawn up by the administration of US President Donald Trump, is said to hugely favor Israel.  Palestinians have already rejected the initiative as “the slap of the century.”

The US is set to unveil the “economic component” of the deal during a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26, a forum already boycotted by all Palestinian factions.

US plan ‘will go to hell’

Speaking in Ramallah on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized that Trump’s proposal would “go to hell.”

“The Palestinian Authority does not recognize this conference,” he said. “Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ will go to hell, as will the economic workshop in Bahrain that the Americans intend to hold and present illusions.”

Abbas also noted that the Palestinian cause is developing step by step to establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

“Whoever is interested in proposing a solution to the Palestinian issue should begin with a diplomatic solution,” he added.

The so-called Middle East peace process was dealt a major blow in December 2017, when Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and later transferred the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli-occupied city.

Angered by Trump’s contentious move, Abbas said Palestine would no longer recognize the US as a mediator in the conflict.

Hamas welcomes offer for Lebanese-Palestinian talks

On Sunday, Palestinian resistance movement Hamas — which governs Gaza — welcomed an initiative by Hezbollah for Lebanese-Palestinian dialog on the threat posed by the so-called “deal of the century.”

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned on Saturday that the upcoming Manama conference may pave the way for the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and other countries.

“Nasrallah’s call came at the right time and the Lebanese-Palestinian dialogue is the best and most powerful way to handle 'the deal of the century' and confront its repercussions, especially the ongoing attempts to impose the resettlement of Palestinians and cancel the right of return,” Hamas spokesperson Raafat Maraa said.

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