Israeli MP hits out at Jared Kushner over Palestine deal: ‘Disaster of the century!’

Mr Kushner, who is also US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, launched a $50billion proposal to invest in Palestinian infrastructure as part of a wider plan for the Middle East last month. It faced mass opposition throughout the Palestinian leadership, who refused to attend the Bahrain conference where the flagship plan was unveiled. However, it also came under fire in the Knesset as MPs accused the White House of ignoring the political conflict and the Palestinian desire for legitimate statehood.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk at PalExpo, Dr Yousef Jabareen, who will stand on the Arab-dominated Joint List in September’s elections, said the deal will do nothing to advance the cause of citizens in Gaza or the West Bank.

He added: “We believe that any initiative that denies the Palestinians the right for a sovereign independent state alongside Israel should be rejected.

“Unfortunately, what we have been hearing from the Trump administration is talk about the economic aspects of the conflict, but nothing about the politics.

“The conflict is not economic – Palestine is not for sale. There are historic rights here which must be recognised, and that should be the basis of any initiative.

“The American initiative lacks this basic component and is a one-sided initiative – there was no cooperation with the Palestinian leadership, just exclusion.”

Mr Kushner, who has become Trump’s main adviser when it comes to the Middle East, said the deal was “a framework for a brighter, more prosperous future for the Palestinian people and the region and a vision of what is possible if there is peace”.

He pledged to create over one million jobs in the region and reduce the poverty rate by half.

However, concerns over the US ignoring the contextual basis of Palestine’s economic woes – which the likes of Gideon Levy attribute to Israeli policy – further called the deal into disrepute, with many labelling it the “disaster of the century”.

Economic investment cannot be paired with ignorance of Palestinian land rights, according to the MP.

Dr Jabareen said: “It was very worrying when the US recognised Israeli control over the Golan Heights and various illegal settlements.

“Any deal must start from the 1967 borders – no less than that.

“This deal would deny Palestinians their historic rights – that’s why they reject it.”

It was immediately rejected by both Hamas and Fatah, who control Gaza and the West Bank respectively.

Traditionally political rivals, it was a rare show of unity from the two parties.

Dr Jabareen said: “The deal has ironically united all factions of the Palestinian movement.

“The Americans, with Israeli support, don’t have a chance to dictate the deal to Palestinians, in spite of some of the Arab state support.

“In the past, there have been many attempts to conclude the conflict without giving Palestinians their land – they have all failed.

“The Palestinian opposition will continue, and we (in the Knesset) will be able to block any attempts to pass the deal.

“Palestinians have already compromised by agreeing to a two-state solution – these are the red lines we should negotiate by.”

Tensions between the Palestinians and Washington initially rose after President Trump’s controversial decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2017.

Washington’s decision invoked Palestinian hostility due to their claim over East Jerusalem and provided the backdrop to months of protest at the border.

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