PA shocked by Arab nations’ support for Bahrain summit

Palestinian Authority officials expressed dismay after Jordan, Egypt and Morocco announced they will attend the US-sponsored “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Manama, Bahrain.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS 

The Bahrain summit, slated for the end of June, is considered a major step towards the unveiling of President Donald Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East, and the PA has called on Arab countries and Arab businessmen to boycott it. Jordan, Egypt and Morocco’s participation serves a severe blow to PA head Mahmoud Abbas.

While the Palestinian Authority (PA) outwardly criticized the Arab countries, officials condemned Abbas’ policies behind closed doors and blamed him for holding back the PA.

The officials conceded that their diplomatic campaign against the Manama summit has failed and that Abbas must admit his failure, or at least generate a unified Palestinian front against Trump’s pending peace plan, dubbed the “Deal of the Century.”

TPS has learned that PA officials advised Abbas to attend the summit “by proxy,” through businessmen or Fatah and PLO officials living abroad.

Senior journalist Abed al-Bari Atwan called on Wednesday for an inquiry into how Arab countries have deceived the Palestinians and have joined the supposed international efforts to “kill the Palestinian issue.”

However, he said the PA should not be surprised by the move and should understand changes in the region and that Arab countries which previously acted in full coordination with the PA have ceased to act in that manner, and essentially accepting the Deal of the Century in some form.

A PA source said that Jordan agreed to participate in the Bahrain event after Jared Kushner, Trump’s close adviser, visited the Kingdom and gave his word that Jordan’s control of the holy sites in Jerusalem would not be compromised by the peace plan.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates confirmed last month that they will attend the summit, and the US and Bahrain are now waiting for Lebanon’s response to their invitation.