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Protests planned across West Bank against US-sponsored Bahrain meeting: Fatah

Palestinians hold banners and shout slogans as they rally against the US-led Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in Bahrain scheduled for next week, in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on June 20, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Palestine’s ruling Fatah party, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, has announced plans for holding protests across the occupied West Bank against the upcoming US-sponsored Bahrain economic conference.

Palestine’s official WAFA news agency, citing a Fatah statement, reported on Saturday that in Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority (PA), a demonstration has been planned to be held at Manara Square at noon on Monday.

It added that “days of escalation against the occupation” have also been planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, when the so-called meeting is expected to be in session.

The report also said that while there is no central event planned, the various Palestinian cities are expected to stage protest rallies expressing Palestinians’ opposition to the Bahrain summit, which they regard as part of a US-led conspiracy against Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence.

A Palestinian man holds a protest sign showing the crossed-out faces of (L to R) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with a caption above in Arabic reading "Palestine is not for sale, no to the conference of shame in Bahrain, the deal of the century will not pass", during the "Run for Freedom" marathon in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, on June 16, 2019 in protest against Trump's expected peace plan proposal. (Photo by AFP)

The West Bank-based PA and the besieged Gaza Strip-based Hamas resistance movement have already boycotted  the economic conference, dubbed as the Peace to Prosperity, scheduled to be held in the Bahraini capital Manama.

As part of US President Donald Trump’s plan, the conference will focus on proposals for the Palestinian economy.

Trump’s yet-to-be-released peace plan for the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict, dubbed as the so-called Deal of the Century, has already been strongly rejected by Palestinians.

They argue that the US actions so far have shown Washington is blatantly biased in favor of Israel and its peace plan will quash their aspirations for statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

While the precise outlines of the draft plan of the Deal of the Century are not known, Palestinian and Arab sources, who have been briefed on it, say it jettisons “the two-state solution.”

Relations between the PA and the US took an unprecedented dip in late 2017, when Washington recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”

Later in May 2018, the US also officially announced the opening of its new embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds amid deadly Israeli crackdown on peaceful protests by Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Since then, Palestinians have shown little interest in discussing a plan that they anticipate will fall far short of their core demands.

The Trump administration has said that its secret plan would require compromise by both sides.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. However, Israel insists on maintaining the occupation of Palestinian territories.

Trump has time and again called his plan as “The Deal of the Century,” but it is coincidentally the title of a 1983 comedy, which features a bunch of hapless arms dealers competing to sell a weapon, called the Peacemaker, to a South American dictator.

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