Fri, 20 Sep 2019

Trump Mideast peace plan will create a 'Palestinian ghetto'

By Jay Jackson, Canada News
14 Feb 2019, 00:03 GMT+10

MOSCOW, Russia - U.S. President Donald Trump's yet-to-surface plan to resolve the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians was scorned on Wednesday at a joint meeting of Palestinian factions in Moscow.

Leaders of all the major Palestinian political groups including Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), have been meeting in the Russian capital for three days.

Following the conclusion of their meeting on Wednesday a press conference was held at which all twelve factions united to oppose the Trump plan - which none of them have seen as it has yet to be finalised.

Regardless they were unanimous in saying they would reject it.

Azzam al-Ahmad, the ruling Fatah's representative said the plan was "a trap."

"If this scenario is carried out, even the sky over Palestine will be occupied," he said.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, al-Ahmad said: "The U.S. plan calls for a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and in parts of the Sinai Peninsula [in Egypt], but without borders with any other state but Israel."

"Nor does the plan give the Palestinians their sought-for capital in East Jerusalem," he said.

"With no airport and blocked in from all sides by Israel, the Palestinians would be extremely dependent." 

"It would be like creating a Palestinian ghetto," he said.

"We can't allow the Gaza Strip to be isolated, we reject this American solution to the problem, which they refer to as the 'Deal of the Century,'" Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy chief of Hamas' Political Bureau, said.

The meetings in Moscow hosted by the Russian government were intended to provide the factions "with a favorable environment so that they can directly, constructively and without external interference discuss all issues of interest and problems that stand in the way of restoring unity in the Palestinian ranks," according to the Russian foreign ministry.

"We believe this event is important and timely, especially given the recent aggravation of the disputes between the main Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas," a statement from the ministry said.

"Unfortunately, the current situation in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement is rather bleak and disquieting," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a series of meetings on Tuesday.

"We see the greatest danger in the stance of the United States which is aimed at promoting unilateral approaches without accounting for the views of other international community members, scrapping essential, key and fundamental international legal instruments for resolving the Palestinian issue. Our U.S. colleagues are bluntly putting forward new recipes in an attempt to resolve this issue, and have for more than two years now been promising to come up with the 'deal of the century'."

The Palestinian factions were also critical of a major Middle East conference which began in Warsaw on Wednesday.

Whilst there was no formal resolution reached at the meetings there was a view that there needed to be reconciliation and reunification of the factions, particularly among Fatah and Hamas, "since only a united Palestine can resist this U.S.-Israeli conspiracy," one representative said.

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