Palestinian Leaders To United States: We Don't Need Your Stinking Money

Number of Illegal Palestinian Authority structures in Area C  Regavim

Number of Illegal Palestinian Authority structures in Area C Regavim

The United States is holding an economic conference in Bahrain on Tuesday and Wednesday to encourage investment in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Bahrain is set to host the so-called "Peace to Prosperity workshop", to discuss what the U.S. described as the economic part of President Donald Trump's "Deal of the century", his proposal for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Despite withering criticism, charges of hypocrisy and outright rejection from the intended beneficiaries, the Trump administration is plowing ahead with a $50 billion economic proposal to aid the Palestinians and hopes it will drive a much-anticipated but unseen Mideast peace plan.

Government, civil society and business leaders have been invited to a two-day "workshop" on proposals for generating rapid Palestinian economic growth.

"We have realised that this economic workshop in Bahrain is going to be really of nonsense, it is just simply a theoretical piece of work calling for $50bn", Shtayyeh said.

There is no talk of land swaps, a Palestinian state or other political issues that have vexed diplomats for decades.

President Mahmud Abbas has said the Palestinians "will not be slaves or servants" of Kushner or other Trump aides. They said in a joint statement that any Arab participation would be "beyond the limits of normalization" with Israel.

Emirati businessman Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor also criticised the Palestinians' refusal to go to Bahrain.

He added that the future of any business deal would be far from certain, with Palestinians poised to reject the forthcoming "deal of the century". They have said they don't see a need to remove Israeli West Bank settlements.

The investments are directed at Palestinians living both inside and outside the territories, including those in Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan.

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Under the plan, donor nations and investors would contribute about $50 billion over 10 years, with $28 billion going to the Palestinian territories - the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip - as well as $7.5 billion to Jordan, $9 billion to Egypt and $6 billion for Lebanon.

Amid the Palestinian uprising, the plan calls for an "end of terror and violence", Israeli troop pullbacks and an Israeli settlement freeze, all leading to final-status negotiations.

Arab League finance ministers on Sunday renewed a pledge to pay $100 million a month to the Palestinian Authority to stabilise its finances.

George W. Bush becomes first US president to call for creation of a Palestinian state, living side-by-side with Israel "in peace and security".

The United States has attracted only lukewarm support from its traditional partners in Middle East peacemaking and is convening the "Peace to Prosperity" workshop this week in the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain under the shadow of rising tensions with Iran that could ignite regional conflict.

"In no way is this about forcing the Palestinians to accept an agreement that they don't like and to draw a connection - you accept this and you'll get that", he told Le Monde on a visit to France.

Since then, the USA has ended both bilateral aid for Palestinians and contributions for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (Unrwa).

Trump's team has refused to endorse the two-state solution - the global community's preferred outcome for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - and recently sent signals that it would even accept Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank.

"We view our job as to 'try.' It's very easy to find reasons why this could fail, we think about that all the time, but our job is to try to be more optimistic and to come up with situations that could maybe change the paradigm, and I hope by seeing this plan that we've spent a lot of time working on...people start to look at this problem from different lens", he said.

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