Palestinian official slams US efforts to help Gazans

Abbas’ aide slammed a reported US plans to raise funds for Gaza as a prelude to a regional peace plan.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

A Palestinian official has condemned US plans to secure Gulf funding for major economic projects in the Gaza Strip as a prelude to its regional peace plan.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, alleged Monday that such efforts aim to further separate Gaza from the Palestinian Authority.

President Donald Trump’s adviser, son-in-law Jared Kushner, is expected to visit Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia this week to discuss the situation in Gaza and the administration’s proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

The Ha’aretz daily reported Sunday that the Trump administration, in an attempt to calm unrest in Gaza and as a prelude to the peace plan it plans to unveil in the near future, is working to convince the Arab kingdoms in the Gulf to invest in economic projects in the Strip.

The US is seeking to convince Arab Gulf states to invest up to $1 billion in Gaza’s economy. The projects include a seaport and a solar energy grid and are planned for the northern Sinai area on Gaza’s southern border.

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The US hopes that attempts to boost the quality of life in Gaza will create a positive atmosphere ahead of Trump’s presentation of his peace plan, the report said.

While Kushner and Greenblatt will meet with the region’s leaders, including Israel’s, they are not scheduled to hold talks with the Palestinians, who have been boycotting Washington since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December and then moved the US embassy there last month.

Abu Rudeineh rejected US efforts to promote an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, claiming the visit slated for the coming week by the White House Middle East peace team is “a waste of time and bound to fail.”