“Manama started with a speech by Kushner and ended with a speech by Kushner…That is all that came out of it,” argued Abbas.
By World Israel News Staff
Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas has voiced ridicule of the U.S-led economic workshop which took place in Manama, Bahrain last week.
The two-day conference was aimed primarily at providing socio-economic relief for the Arab residents of Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip. However, the PA boycotted the event.
Speaking Wednesday to Arab journalists at his headquarters in Ramallah, Abbas dismissed the workshop as an event which only promoted the interests of U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“Of course, Manama started with a speech by Kushner and ended with a speech by Kushner…That is all that came out of it,” argued Abbas.
“Some Arabs attended and some did not. Some Europeans attended and some did not,” the PA leader added, calling the event “a big lie that Kushner and others invented to make fools of the people.”
For his part, Kushner said this week that the PA’s reaction to the U.S. economic initiative has been “hysterical and erratic and not terribly constructive.”
The economic plan announced by the Trump administration ahead of the Bahrain workshop calls for projects worth $27.5 billion in Judea and Samaria and Gaza, and $9.1 billion, $7.4 billion, and $6.3 billion for Palestinians in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, respectively. Projects envisioned include those in health care, education, power, water, high-tech, tourism, and agriculture sectors.
The PA leadership has argued that an economic plan must be accompanied by a political vision. Publication of Trump’s peace plan, dubbed ‘The Deal of the Century,” has been put on hold as Israel is scheduled to hold a Knesset election on September 17, its second parliamentary election in just a matter of months, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a new governing coalition following the April 9 ballot.