Palestinians will stay away from a U.S.-led conference in Bahrain next month that the Trump administration has cast as an overture to its own plan for peace between them and Israel, a Palestinian cabinet minister said on Monday. Washington announced the conference on Sunday, describing it as an opportunity to drum up international investment for the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians, who have boycotted the Trump administration since it recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, have shown little interest in discussing a plan on which they had no input and that they anticipate will fall far short of their core demands. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that his government had not been consulted on the June 25-26 gathering in Manama. After the cabinet met, Ahhmed Majdalani, the social development minister and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee, said: “There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop.” “Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel,” he said. Shtayyeh reiterated Palestinians’ aspirations for a two-state peace agreement with Israel entailing control of the occupied West Bank and Gaza – currently run by the Islamist group Hamas – as well as East Jerusalem as their future capital. Internationally-mediated talks to that end have been stalemated for years. Israel calls Jerusalem its indivisible capital and has said it might declare sovereignty in its West Bank settlements, which are deemed illegal by
Gaza’s Health Ministry said a 22-year-old Palestinian, Emad Nassir, was killed by an Israeli airstrike. Six other Palestinians sustained injuries from airstrikes and shelling. In Israel, there were no reports of injuries, and police said a house in the coastal city of Ashkelon was damaged.
Violence is on the rise in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israeli authorities are continuing to demolish and confiscate Palestinian-owned homes and property, in contravention of international law, the United Nations envoy for the Middle East Peace Process said on Thursday.
“It is hard to articulate the flesh and blood meaning of the exposed lives Palestinians endure under occupation,” he said, calling on Security Council members to act to reduce their suffering.
Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab said last week they would not pay the fine of 45,000 shekels ($12,423.05) awarded to three Israeli teenagers, calling the court’s ruling a “stunt” intended to intimidate Israel’s critics.
“Given that we’ve actually had this kind of push upon us – we felt that it was expedient to actually recenter the issue back on Palestine,” Abu-Shanab told Radio New Zealand.
“The demolition of this small Palestinian village would not only affect a local community,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini recently told the European Parliament. “It would also be a blow against the viability of the state of Palestine and against the very possibility of a two-state solution.”
Separately, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom warned in a rare joint statement that demolition would have “very serious” consequences.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki described on Tuesday President Donald Trump’s decision to halt U.S. funding for the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA as an attack on international law. “The U.S. administration has begun to attack the rights of the Palestinian people and international law,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, convened to discuss the issue.