US plan for Gaza meant to grant concessions to Israel: PA

Press TV – The Palestinian Authority has cautioned regional states against collaborating with Israel regarding an American “aid” plan for the Gaza Strip, saying the scheme is meant to sow discord among Palestinians and get concessions on occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

On Sunday, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported that the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to persuade the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies to invest in Gaza economic projects in a bid to calm the situation in the Israeli-blocked territory before Washington unveils its so-called Middle East peace plan.

Haaretz quoted Israeli and Arab sources as saying that the idea would be raised during an upcoming visit by White House special adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt to the occupied territories, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.

The sources said Washington hopes that it could raise between $500 million and $1 billion.

The White House, however, declined to elaborate on the Gaza initiative and stressed that it “won’t discuss specifics before the conversations have taken place.”

“The Palestinian leadership warns the countries of the region against cooperating with a move whose goal is to perpetuate the separation between Gaza and the West Bank and lead to concessions on Jerusalem (al-Quds) and the holy sites,” Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement on Monday.

The US administration is working with Israel to divide the Palestinians under the guise of “humanitarian aid or rehabilitation” and hinder their struggles against the regime’s occupation, he added.

Abu Rudeineh also noted that the Palestinian Authority is “confident that the strength of the Palestinian people will thwart all the plots whose goal is to liquidate the Palestinian issue, and that the Arab world and countries worldwide which support the battle for freedom and liberty will cooperate with the Palestinian people on this issue.”

Meanwhile, another unnamed Palestinian official accused the Trump administration of seeking to revive an initiative proposed in 2004 by Israel’s then National Security Council chief Giora Eiland, the report added.

The proposal called on Egypt to give 600 square kilometers of land in the Sinai Peninsula to the Palestinians in exchange for Israel handing over 200 square kilometers in the Negev Desert to Cairo.

“The Palestinian leadership rejected this plan out of hand at the time and the Arab states also won’t agree to this under any circumstances,” the official said.

Last week, the Palestinian Authority said the so-called peace plan, which has been promoted by the US to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is “meaningless” as it lacks the support of Palestinians.

In December 2017, Abbas formally declared that the Palestinians would no longer accept the US as a mediator to resolve their decades-long row with Israel because Washington was “completely biased” towards Tel Aviv.

The announcement came after Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and announced plans to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

The US embassy relocation took place on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), sparking deadly clashes in Gaza.

Since March 30, people in Gaza have held weekly protests demanding the right to return for those Palestinians driven out of their homeland.