Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has rejected an invitation by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner to participate in a peace summit let by moderate Arab states, the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported this weekend.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have reportedly agreed to participate in the summit that, according to the report, has been deemed by the P.A. as an American ploy to drag them into what U.S. President Donald Trump has dubbed “the deal of the century.”
Arab and Western diplomats have reportedly relayed the Palestinians’ concerns over the “ambiguous” U.S. plan, which, according to reports, outlines the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank without defining clear borders, without recognizing eastern Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, without providing a solution for Palestinian refugees and failing to resolve the issue of Israeli settlements.
According to the report, the Palestinians are concerned about support that moderate Arab countries appear to be displaying for this plan.
During his recent visit to the Middle East, Kushner told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds newspaper that the United States will not chase the P.A. leadership or grovel before Abbas, appealing directly to the Palestinian people in the face of Abbas’s rejectionism. Kushner made it clear, however, that Washington is more than willing to work with Ramallah on the peace plan.
The Palestinian people “deserve to have a bright future,” said Kushner, and they should not let their leadership “reject a plan they haven’t even seen.”
by Daniel Siryoti