The support from the United States for Israel in its illegal occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip has caused Palestinians to cut all contact with Trump’s government and declare the White House incapable of leading the peace process.
The badly-named ‘Deal of the Century’ proposed by the United States for peace between Israel and Palestine, and which President Donald Trump will reveal details about before the United Nations General Assembly in September, is considered blackmail to a people under occupation. Based on what has been divulged to date, the plan would consist of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and integrating Palestinian communities into the territories occupied by Tel Aviv on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This would be in exchange for a gradual withdrawal of occupation forces from these zones.
This agreement has been rejected by Palestine since the beginning. The political party Fatah, led by the President of the State, Mahmoud Abbas, has reaffirmed his condemnation for the treaty on many occasions.
“We reassert the Palestinian position rejecting any political deal, whether it was called “Deal of the Century” or the Gaza deal. Dubious projects aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause will not pass and will be confronted and terminated by the steadfastness of our people”, Fatah said in a statement last July.
According to international analysts, the plan actually seeks to divide the West Bank, and then unite what is left of this territory with the blocked Gaza and Jordan.
In this way, it will create a Palestinian-Jordanian state, disposing of the monarch in Amman and thus caging the Palestinian people under the surveillance of a more powerful Jordanian army, as well as Israeli troops.
For their part, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of which Fatah is a member, has highlighted the United States’ double standard towards Palestine’s aspiration to become a State separate from the Israeli yoke.
On one hand, Washington proposes the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, hard hit by almost 12 years of land and sea blockades by Tel Aviv.
However, at the same time, the northern power is cutting aid from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is trying to look after more than a million people in this coastal enclave.
On 25th July, UNRWA sent work termination letters to one thousand of its employees in the Gaza Strip headquarters. The UNRWA Director of Operations in Gaza, Matthias Schmale, has said that losing positions in the Strip at this critical moment was devastating.
Nevertheless, UNRWA had no other choice due to the serious financial crisis that it was facing after the United States, the entity’s greatest donor with 300 million dollars a year, decided to stop these contributions at the beginning of 2018.
On this issue, Palestinian authorities warned that it is a plan destined to put an end to the problem represented by Palestinian refugees.
The reality is that Washington cut funds to the agency and pressured other countries to do the same; “as part of pressure on the Palestinian Authorities to give in to its and Israel’s dictates, which is the same as accepting the badly named ‘Deal of the Century’”, said Rafat.
More recently, on 24th August, the US State Department announced that, following President Trump’s instructions, funds of more than 200 million dollars destined for Palestinian projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be assigned to other parts of the world.
The response was almost immediate. Hanan Ashrawi, also a member of the PLO Executive Committee, declared that it is further proof of the complicity that exists between Washington and the Israeli occupation, as well as political blackmail.
“The US Administration has already demonstrated meanness of spirit in its collusion with the Israeli occupation and its theft of land and resources; now it is exercising economic meanness by punishing the Palestinian victims of this occupation”, added the official. The Head of the PLO General Delegation to the United States, Husam Zomlot, joined the voices of protest against this new withdrawal of funds. “The Trump Administration is dismantling decades of US vision and engagement in Palestine. This is another confirmation of abandoning the two-state solution and fully embracing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s anti-peace agenda”, the diplomat said in a statement.
The controversial Deal of the Century is very far away from achieving its objective. According to the Fatah party: “Washington must understand that any agreement or initiative that excludes all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, or transgresses international resolutions, is destined to fail”. (PL)
(Translated by Donna Davison. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)