Palestinians ice cold on Trump peace deal, say won’t attend Bahrain meeting

Iceland's Hatari holds up Palestinian flags during Eurovision in Tel Aviv

Iceland's Hatari holds up Palestinian flags during Eurovision in Tel Aviv

A second US official declined to say whether Israeli and Palestinian officials were likely to take part.

"I look forward to these important discussions about a vision that will offer Palestinians exciting new opportunities to realize their full potential".

Gaza's ruling Hamas movement, shunned in the West for its hostility to Israel and locked in a power struggle with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah party, also condemned the Bahrain conference. They want a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as their capital and the right for refugees and descendants to return to their land prior to the creation of Israel in 1948.

The Palestinians severed ties with the White House after President Donald Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

The participants in the June 25-26 conference in Manama are expected to include representatives and business executives from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the administration official said.

He said attempts to use economic means to lead to a settlement of the conflict "will be rejected" and that "efforts to make the oppressor and the oppressed coexist are doomed to fail".

The Palestinian Authority said the United States did not consult them before announcing the conference, expressing their frustration at the lack of communication.

A senior administration official, speaking on background, said that the goal of the plan would be to harness grant, low-interest loans, and private investment toward growing the Palestinian economy and raising the Palestinian standard of living as a foundation for peace.

"The Cabinet wasn't consulted about the reported workshop, neither over the content, nor the outcome or timing", Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh added.

Since being shunned by the Palestinian leadership, it has cut back on United States aid for them, contributing to economic hardship in the West Bank and Gaza.

U.S. officials had said earlier the peace plan would be rolled out after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends in early June. The plan focuses on infrastructure, industry, empowering and investing in people and reforming the Palestinian government.

The Trump administration has been working on its peace plan for many months.

US officials have predicted that the event will include representatives and business executives from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as some finance ministers.

Administration officials described the plan as "very extensive and detailed", telling reporters that the economic and political portions of the plan will be presented in different forums because it is easier to digest in two different settings. US officials see this as key to getting both the Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiating table to they can hash out specific details of future statehood.

Israel's Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is expected to head the Israeli delegation to the summit, Haaretz said. The plan is likely to call for billions of dollars in financial backing for the Palestinians, mostly from oil-rich Gulf states, according to people informed about the discussions.

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