The Trump administration introduced a $50 billion economic formula for Israeli-Palestinian peace, claiming an investment program for the Palestinians was a precondition for ending the decades-long dilemma.
The senior advisor of the US President and son-in-law Jared Kushner opened a two-day long international meeting in Bahrain to reassemble support for the blueprint, which has met broad disdain from Palestinians and others in the Arab world although regional US allies such as Saudi Arabia strongly support it.
Kushner told the assembly, attended by the leaders of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-led West Bank, was ferocious about its prospects.
He also added, “ money is important. The economy is important … The political solution is more important.”
The political information of the peace plan, almost two years in the making, remain confidential. Neither the Israeli nor Palestine governments attended the curtain-raising event while the several Arab States stayed away or sent deputy ministers. The conference is occurring in Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, amid high tension between Tehran on the one hand and Washington and its Sunni Muslim allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the other. All share a common foe with Israel in Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of the US President, said Israel was open to the proposal.
Washington will be expecting that wealthy Gulf Arab states show a concrete interest in the plan, which expects donor nations and investors to grant $50 billion to the Palestine territories, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.
Kushner said, “ to be clear, economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict ….one that guarantees Israel’s security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people”.