Palestine has erupted in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump announced plan on Palestine. Tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to protest Trump’s proposal. The plan is a sellout of the Palestine people, as the Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas has told.

Gaza

Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza Strip observed a general strike on Wednesday. All the shops were shut down, while government and financial institutions did not open to business, and schools and universities suspended classes.

This came less than a day after a massive rally in front of the headquarters of the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, in Gaza City in protest of the plan.

Protestors burnt tires and pictures of Trump and Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu, and raised a banner reading, “Palestine is not for sale”.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians also rallied on Tuesday evening in the besieged Gaza Strip and in the West Bank, to protest against the announcement of the U.S. “peace plan”, known as “deal of the century”.

West Bank

Similar protests were reported elsewhere in the West Bank on Tuesday.

Lebanon

A general strike was also observed in the Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon in protest of the Trump-plan.

Palestinian refugees marched in Ein al-Hilweh and Beddawi refugee camps, shouting slogans decrying the plan as “a war waged against their inalienable national rights”, particularly their right to return to their hometowns from which their families were expelled during the founding of Israel in 1948.

 

Protesters outside the U.S. embassy in Amman. (Photo: via Twitter)

Amman

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the US embassy in Amman, shouting slogans against normalization.

Journalists

The General Federation of Arab Journalists strongly condemned the U.S., calling on Arab governments to unite against U.S.-Israeli attempts aimed at canceling out Palestinian rights.

Palestinian leaders call for unity, dialogue

Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem call for unity to face the ‘Deal of the Century’. (Photo: via Twitter)

Palestinian officials accused Washington of attempting “to cancel” the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinian leaders say that “they were not invited to Washington and that no peace plan can work without them”, Reuters reported.

According to the Palestinian news source Al Watan Voice, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has already started its own diplomatic action to counter the so-called U.S. peace plan.

PA Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Maliki, announced during a meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador to the occupied territories on Sunday, that the PA leadership is discussing measures to respond to the U.S plan together with other Arab States.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reserved the right “to withdraw from the interim agreement” of the Oslo Accords, signed in 1993.

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian movement Hamas, reiterated on Sunday that his movement is ready to meet with the Fatah leadership and all other Palestinian political groups in Cairo to resume the ongoing dialogue.

We must “unite, draw our pathway and take the lead ahead of defending our Jerusalem and our dignity,” Haniyeh said as quoted in the Middle East Monitor.

“Dustbin of History”

Leaders and governments around the world reacted to US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Tuesday of his long-awaited Middle East plan, dubbed ‘Deal of the Century’.

The Palestinian leadership, which cut its diplomatic ties with Washington following Trump’s unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, immediately rejected the plan.

Palestinian Authority President Abbas said that the so-called Deal of the Century “belongs to the dustbin of history”.

Abbas also called on all Palestinian political groups to meet in order to discuss the American announcement, obtaining an immediate positive response from the Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements.

Turkey: “Never acceptable”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East is “never acceptable.”

Erdogan declared that Trump’s plan ignores Palestinians’ rights and attempts to legitimize the Isreali occupation, Anadolu news agency reported.

“Jerusalem is sacred for Muslims and Trump’s so-called peace plan proposing to leave Jerusalem to Israel is never acceptable,” Erdogan said.

Iran: “Treason of the Century”

Iranian officials described Trump’s plan as a “plan of imposition and sanctions”.

Iran’s foreign ministry said in a statement: “The shameful peace plan imposed by America on the Palestinians is the treason of the century and doomed to fail.”

Hezbollah: “Deal of Shame”

The Lebanese Resistance group Hezbollah, on the other hand, rejected the latest American initiative, describing it as a ‘Deal of Shame’.

A Jordanian warning 

The Jordanian government rejected what it described as “annexation of Palestinian lands,” with the Kingdom’s foreign minister warning against the “dangerous consequences of unilateral Israeli measures that aim to impose new realities on the ground.”

Egypt welcomes U.S. efforts

Egypt has welcomed the U.S. efforts to try to resolve the ‘conflict’.

Saudi assurances

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud reportedly called the Palestinian President, Wednesday, to reiterate that the position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding the rights of the Palestinian people remains unchanged.

Abbas has reportedly also received a message of solidarity from his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun.

“We are with you and support any position that you might take to defend your rights,” Aoun told Abbas, reported the Palestinian News agency WAFA.

U.S. Democrats: “Shameful and disingenuous”

Democratic members of the U.S. Congress denounced Trump’s initiative.

Senator and Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, said, “any acceptable peace deal must be consistent with international law and multiple UN Security Council resolutions.”

UK: A “positive step”

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said the plan could be “a positive step forward”.

UN: Committed to Two-State solution

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that the UN remains committed to “the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines.”

The U.S. plan: “There shall be no right of return”

Palestinians stage a protest against the “Deal of the Century”. (Photo: via Twitter)

The U.S plan consists of possible political scenarios and details an economic proposal that Washington had already introduced last July, during a conference in Manama, Bahrain.

The economic plan vowed to set up a $50 billion fund to help revive the Palestinian economy, with Jordan, Egypt, and Israel also receiving shares of the proposed financial aid.

However, media reports indicate that little funding has been pledged so far to turn the Bahrain plan into action.

Trump’s Washington announcement is considered the political component of what has largely been termed as “Deal of the Century”.

“Yes” to settlements

According to the plan, the U.S. will officially recognize Israel’s illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

Trump has further indicated that Israel would also have control over all “security-related matters” in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The plan said:

“(Israel) will not have to uproot any settlements, and will incorporate the vast majority of Israeli settlements into contiguous Israeli territory. Israeli enclaves located inside contiguous Palestinian territory will become part of the State of Israel and be connected to it through an effective transportation system.”

“No” to Palestinian state

Although Trump’s plan refers to the creation of a Palestinian state, it imposes “limitations of certain sovereign powers in the Palestinian areas (…) such as maintenance of Israeli security responsibility and Israeli control of the airspace west of the Jordan river.”

The ill-defined Palestinian State is itself conditioned on the Palestinian leadership meeting a number of conditions.

Jerusalem for Israel only

The plan refers to Israel, “unlike many previous powers that had ruled Jerusalem, and had destroyed the holy sites of other faiths,” as a “good custodian of Jerusalem.”

“The State of Israel is to be commended for safeguarding the religious sites of all and maintaining a religious status quo,” the document added.

The U.S. plan envisions Jerusalem as the “undivided” capital of Israel, as already declared by the Trump administration on December 6, 2017.

The plan, however, proposes to get Palestinians limited sovereignty over few neighborhoods adjacent to the Israeli separation wall built illegally in occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem:

“The sovereign capital of the State of Palestine should be in the section of East Jerusalem located in all areas east and north of the existing security barrier, including Kafr Aqab, the eastern part of Shuafat and Abu Dis, and could be named Al Quds or another name as determined by the State of Palestine.”

No “siege” on Gaza

The document states that the people of Gaza “have suffered for too long under the repressive rule of Hamas”.

There was no single reference in all 80 pages to the 14-year-old Israeli siege on Gaza.

For Gaza to be included in any future peace agreement, it would have to be demilitarized and fall under the control of the Palestinian Authority or any other party that is recognized by Israel.

Refugees

“There shall be no right of return by, or absorption of, any Palestinian refugee into the State of Israel,” the plan stipulates.

What is described as the “refugee problem” should be solved by Palestine’s “Arab brothers,” who “have the moral responsibility to integrate them into their countries as the Jews were integrated into the State of Israel.”


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