PLO official: US proposal 'an insult to our intelligence'

Hanan Ashrawi rejects US peace proposal, says the idea of economic peace is a recycled one.

Elad Benari,

Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan Ashrawi
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Hanan Ashrawi on Wednesday rejected the US proposal which was presented at the Bahrain economic workshop, saying it is an "insult to our intelligence" and "totally divorced from reality."

"The economic peace, which has been presented before repeatedly and which has failed to materialize because it does not deal with the real components of peace, is being presented once again, recycled once again," she said, according to the AFP news agency.

"The elephant in the room in Manama is of course the occupation itself," she added. "The Israeli occupation, which was never mentioned -- not once."

Earlier on Wednesday, as he summarized the Bahrain conference, US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said that Palestinian Arabs were still welcome to engage in his peace initiative, and accused their leaders of not caring about their own people for rejecting his $50 billion economic plan.

Kushner promised to unveil a political plan at "the right time" and said the Palestinian Authority could help its people by embracing US recommendations.

"If they actually want to make their people's lives better, we have now laid out a great framework in which they can engage and try to achieve it," Kushner told reporters.

"We're going to stay optimistic," he said. "We have left the door open."

He said the US was trying a fresh approach to the long intractable Middle East conflict and that the authors of the economic framework had not seen the political plan.

"The common theme coming up is that this is all achievable if the (Palestinian) government wants to make these reforms," Kushner insisted.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) boycotted the economic conference in Bahrain, saying it would be a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.

The PA has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017 and his relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.




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