Palestine’s Hamas, Fatah movements denounce US 'deal of century' for Middle East
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Palestine’s Hamas, Fatah movements denounce US 'deal of century' for Middle East

The strongly-worded statements were read by representatives of both sides on Wednesday, the final day of the third edition of Russia-mediated intra-Palestinian conference that commenced on Monday in the Russian capital Moscow with the aim of unifying 12 different Palestinian movements and organizations, including the Fatah movement led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “We created the Palestinian state, in which we declared back in 1988. We stand for the creation of the Palestinian state within the borders of the liberation of territories captured in 1967 … with its capital in East Jerusalem al-Quds,” said Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior member of Fatah's Central Committee. “I would like to emphasize for [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and Trump. This is our and Qatar’s opinion. We will not allow America to use the financial factor in order to tear us away from the Gaza Strip,” he added. Ahmad said that Washington had so far rejected “all of our peace-loving initiatives.” In late August last year, the US announced it would end all funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, a week after it cut over $200 million in aid for the West Bank and Gaza. Washington donated $355 million to the UN agency in 2016, and was set to make a similar contribution last year. Qatar, a Persian Gulf littoral state, financially supports Hamas, a move that has time and again irked Fatah. Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, for his part, said his respective movement also rejected “the American plan for solving the Middle East problem, which is called the deal of the century.” He also stressed they would not “allow any foreign party to intervene and destroy our aspiration [to bring peace],” accusing both the US and Israel of hatching plots to separate the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian movement. On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Trump’s “deal of the century” would fail to fully guarantee a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. The so-called deal, a backchannel plan to reach a peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians, was proposed by the US administration in late 2017. Although the plan has not been released, leaks signal it will consist of the same tried-and-failed ideas. While little is known about the controversial deal, leaks have suggested that it entirely regards Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli territory, whereas Palestinians view the eastern sector of the occupied city as the capital of their future state. Palestinians also believe that the US-drafted plan calls for keeping borders and security under Israeli control, while it keeps Israeli settlements’ final borders to be discussed in later negotiations. Israel lays claim to entire Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community views the city’s eastern sector as an occupied territory. Trump further darkened the prospects of the establishment of a Palestinian state back in December when he recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and ordered the US embassy to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, a move that infuriated Palestinians and triggered numerous protests.

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