Washington puts pres­sure on Pales­tini­ans to ac­cept ‘Deal of the Cen­tury’

Global Times - - Asian Review -

The US has taken a series of mea­sures against Pales­tini­ans in or­der to in­crease pres­sure on them to ac­cept a new peace plan to re­solve the Pales­tini­anIs­raeli con­flict, which is re­jected by Pales­tini­ans.

The Pales­tini­ans say the US plan, known as “Deal of the Cen­tury,” is meant to elim­i­nate rights of Pales­tini­ans, mainly refugees’ right of re­turn.

The US ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Mon­day that the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (PLO) of­fice in Washington will be shut down, cit­ing its fail­ure to ad­vance the start of direct and mean­ing­ful ne­go­ti­a­tions with Is­rael.

The de­ci­sion was linked with US con­cerns with Pales­tinian at­tempts to prompt an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Is­rael by the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC), the US State De­part­ment said.

The Pales­tini­ans have re­quested the ICC to in­ves­ti­gate Is­rael on var­i­ous is­sues in­clud­ing dis­puted set­tle­ment build­ings in the oc­cu­pied West Bank, the civil­ian ca­su­al­ties in the 2014 Gaza war and oth­ers.

De­spite hav­ing opened a pre­lim­i­nary probe in 2015, the court has yet to move to the next stage.

The Pales­tini­ans have boy­cotted Washington since it rec­og­nized Jerusalem as Is­rael’s cap­i­tal and moved its em­bassy to Jerusalem.

Washington said last month it halted all fund­ing to the United Na­tions Pales­tinian refugee agency UNRWA and Trump last week or­dered that $25 mil­lion ear­marked for the care of Pales­tini­ans in East Jerusalem hos­pi­tals be di­rected else­where as part of a re­view of aid.

“The US ad­min­is­tra­tion is wag­ing a war of black­mail­ing against the Pales­tini­ans in an ef­fort to im­pose the ‘Deal of the Cen­tury,’ us­ing all means of pres­sure,” Hani Habib, a Gaz­abased po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst told Xin­hua.

Habib pointed out that Washington “is us­ing cheap money to black­mail the Pales­tini­ans po­lit­i­cally and fi­nan­cially.” “Washington wants the Pales­tinian lead­er­ship to abide by the US-Is­raeli vi­sion to ac­cept the US plan for peace... I be­lieve this will not work,” he said.

Hani al-Masri, Di­rec­tor of the Masarat Cen­ter for Re­search and Stud­ies in Ra­mal­lah, said the Pales­tini­ans con­sider Washington’s ac­tions to be force­ful.

“Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion has made Is­raeli se­cu­rity the supreme ref­er­ence to any prin­ci­ples for a fu­ture solution... it has thrown away the Jerusalem, refugees and set­tle­ments files,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Masri, this shows that “Deal of the Cen­tury” “did not die” de­spite the Pales­tinian re­jec­tion, stress­ing it is be­ing ap­plied on the ground in an ac­cel­er­ated man­ner.

“Trump is go­ing on with his plan, hop­ing that the Pales­tini­ans will ac­cept it later,” Masri said.

Trump’s se­nior ad­vi­sor Jared Kush­ner told Pales­tinian AlQuds news­pa­per in June that the US will an­nounce its peace plan soon.

While Kush­ner re­fused to re­veal de­tails of the plan, Is­raeli re­ports said the US ini­tia­tive sug­gests that Abu Dis vil­lage in East Jerusalem will be the cap­i­tal of the fu­ture “un­armed” Pales­tinian state.

The re­ports also said the US gov­ern­ment will ask Is­rael to with­draw from three quar­ters of Arab neigh­bor­hoods in East Jerusalem, adding that Is­rael will main­tain con­trol of ma­jor set­tle­ments in West Jerusalem as well as the Jor­dan Val­ley.

The ar­ti­cle is from the Xin­hua News Agency. opin­ion@ glob­al­times.com.cn

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