Abbas’ Fatah Calls for ‘Escalation’ to Counter Bahrain Workshop

Fatah says Hamas arrests members in Gaza ahead of rally

JERUSALEM – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah party has called for days of violence against Israel in protest over the U.S.-led Bahrain economic peace workshop.

In an article published by the official PA Al-Hayat Al-Jadida daily, Majed Al-Fatiani, secretary of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, called on “Fatah members and the central forces within Palestinian lands” to protest on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday coinciding with the Manama summit, “in order to express their rejection of the Bahrain Conference.”

“The Palestinian people is not too helpless to use its means in order to stop the great plot,” he said, according to a translation by Israeli monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch.

A poster urging Palestinians to take to the streets to “escalate confrontations with Israelis … as a sign of opposition to the deal of the century and the workshop in Manama” was accompanied with an image of a masked Palestinian hurling a rock.

Palestinian officials renamed President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” the “Holocaust of the century,” the report said.

A counter-conference was held last week, titled, “The Holocaust of the Century in Bahrain… Its Signs, Consequences, and Ways to Deal With It,” attended by Palestinian officials including Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki and PLO Central Council member Omar Shehadeh.

According to the report, the Palestinian leaders present emphasized that the Bahrain Conference is “a holocaust for the basic Arab principles and the Palestinians’ rights,” while the director of the meeting, Coordinator of Cultural Activities Dr. Yusuf Abd Al-Haq, renamed Trump’s peace plan “the Zionist-American Holocaust of the century.”

On Friday, Trump’s Special Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt slammed the PA for doing everything to sabotage its prospects for peace.

“The PA is calling for demonstrations against the Bahrain workshop,” Jason Greenblatt tweeted. “Tells you everything you need to know about their priorities & intentions. Their leadership is happy w/ the status quo & would rather Palestinians suffer than at least explore a different path for a better future.”

A day later, the White House published the economic portion of its peace proposal.

Palestinian officials across the board panned the proposal, which would see $50 billion injected into the Palestinian economies throughout the Middle East via public and private financing.

“The plan cannot pass because it ends the Palestinian cause,” Abbas said on Saturday.

“We are not going to attend this workshop, the reason is that the economic situation should not be discussed before a political situation, so long as there is no political situation, we do not deal with any economic situation.”

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi tweeted, “First lift the siege of Gaza, stop the Israeli theft of our land, resources and funds, give us our freedom of movement and control over our borders, airspace, territorial waters etc. Then watch us build a vibrant prosperous economy as a free & sovereign people.”

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh reiterated the notion of resolving the conflict only through political means.

“Our cause is a political one and should be dealt with as such. It is a strategic mistake and the American administration is committing daily mistakes against the Palestinian people. Without Palestinian approval, there is no value to any meeting, and without a political horizon, no one will deal with any effort. This conference was born dead just like the deal of the century,” he said.

The Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group also slammed the plan, saying it would do everything to foil it.

“The American administration continues to dream that the Palestinian people will give up their rights and holy sites in return for economic projects and money,” Hamas said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the plan was also rejected by commentators across the Arab world. Azzam Huneidi, deputy head of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s main opposition, said, “The economic plan is the sale of Palestine under the banner of prosperity in return for peace and with no land being returned.”

Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Sunday said Beirut will not be “tempted” by billions of dollars in cash at the expense of the rights of the Palestinians.

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