Palestinians Rally Against Kushner’s Economic Peace Plan

GAZA/RAMALLAH (Reuters) -
A Palestinian man burns a painting depicting U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest against the Bahrain economic workshop for the U.S. peace plan, in Gaza City, Monday. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Palestinians burned portraits of President Donald Trump as they protested in both Yehudah and Shomron and the Gaza Strip on Monday against U.S.-led plans for a conference on their economy in Bahrain.

Many Palestinian business groups have said they will boycott the June 25-26 event, billed as part of Washington’s long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and spearheaded by Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

“Down with Bahrain, down with Trump, down with the Manama conference,” chanted crowds in Gaza, which is ruled by the armed Islamist group Hamas. Some burned large paintings of Trump marked with the words: “Deal of the devil.”

Kushner told Reuters on Saturday the plan would create a million jobs, halve Palestinian poverty and double the Palestinians’ GDP.

Hundreds marched through Ramallah’s main squares, waving posters in support of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Protesters in Yehudah and Shomron burned posters of both Trump and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The rallies marked a moment of political unity against the Bahrain conference, despite a 12-year political feud between Abbas’s Fatah party and Hamas.

The Bahrain conference will be attended by Gulf Arab states as well as Jordan and Egypt. Israel is expected to send a business delegation but no government officials.

Palestinian leaders on Monday renewed their calls for a boycott of the conference.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said, “They [Palestinians] will not sell out their rights for all treasures on earth.”