06/26/2019, 10.40
MIDDLE EAST
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West Bank protests greet Manama launch of Kushner Middle East peace plans

Trump's son-in-law illustrates $ 50 billion project to transform the region into a "business model". But no reference to political solutions. Israel favorable to the project. The Palestinian leadership boycott the appointment. Abbas: money is important, but politics even more.

Manama (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In the context of the Manama Conference that kicked off yesterday, the United States has launched a $ 50 billion (for now only economic) plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It would be the much-heralded Donald Trump "peace plan" which according to analysts and experts, "will not solve the problem."

In fact, the Palestinians of the Territories have welcomed the initiative with protests and burning US flags, while their leaders boycotted the appointment in Bahrain.

The son-in-law of US president Jared Kushner gave the inaugural address for the two day meeting. “We can turn this region from a victim of past conflicts into a model for commerce and advancement throughout the world,” Kushner told the gathering, attended by the heads of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

“To be clear, economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict ... one that guarantees Israel’s security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people,” Kushner said. “However, today is not about the political issues. We will get to those at the right time.”

To date little is known about the various aspects of the "peace plan" and it is not clear whether Trump intends to abandon or pursue the "two-state solution" project, which implies the birth of an independent Palestinian nation alongside Israel.

The political elements remain secret and should be illustrated in November, after the early elections in Israel.

Israeli and Palestinian governments are absent from the Bahrain appointment. However, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of Trump, confirms openness to the US plan, the Palestinians boycotted the meeting.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestinian Authority said: “Money is important. The economy is important ... The political solution is more important.”

The project aims to develop the unexpressed economic "potential" of the Palestinians by opening up Gaza and the West Bank to global and regional markets; enhancing infrastructure including electricity, water and telecommunications and switching from diesel to natural gas; promoting the private sector, small business owners, tourism and agriculture; integrating the Palestinian economy with Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon, breaking down barriers.

The goal is, in 10 years, to create one million jobs and reduce the poverty rate by 50%.

The Manama conference, which comes at a time of great tension in the Middle East due to the winds of war between the United States and Iran.

Several demonstrations have already taken place in the West Bank and Gaza: demonstrators have burned flags and portraits of US President Trump and of the king of Bahrain.

According to the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Kushner's project is the fruit of Israeli initiatives and perspective.

The Palestinian parliamentarian Mustafa Barghouti echoes that no economic solution can be traded "for our freedom".

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