Palestinians launch general strike in Gaza Strip in protest at US-led Bahrain conference
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Palestinians launch general strike in Gaza Strip in protest at US-led Bahrain conference

On Tuesday, people stopped going to their workplaces and closed businesses. Public transportation also came to a halt, and most of the public and private institutions, including universities, banks and courts, were shut for the day. The High Follow-Up Committee of the National and Islamic Forces had called for the action, urging citizens to raise black flags over homes and in their areas. The Committee said it would hold a national conference at Rashad Shawa Cultural Center in Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City on Tuesday at the same time as the Manama economic workshop is underway. Later in the day, the spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said in a statement that three civilians had been struck with live bullets near the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and Israeli-occupied territories. Nine other people suffered from the effects of tear gas fired by Israeli forces. Another popular conference is scheduled to be held in the eastern flank of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. A massive popular march will also take place on the same day from the western gate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) headquarters to the UN office in Gaza. Elsewhere in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), located 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds, clashes broke out between a group of Palestinians and Israeli troops. Palestine's official WAFA news agency reported that the skirmishes erupted in the Bab a-Zawiya neighborhood of the city, and Israeli military forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, teargas canisters and stun grenades to disperse the crowd. Tens of the protesters suffered respiratory problems due to inhalation of tear gas. They were treated on the ground. Rudeineh: Arab Peace Initiative red line that could not be redrafted Meanwhile, Palestinian Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh has stressed that the Arab Peace Initiative is a redline, which neither Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner nor anyone else could redraft. Abu Rudeineh’s remarks came in response to Kushner’s earlier comments that the so-called deal of the century will not follow the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative. The Arab Peace Initiative, proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, calls on Israel to agree to a two-state solution along the 1967 lines and a “just” solution to the Palestinian refugee issue. The initiative has been repeatedly endorsed by the Arab League in 2002, 2007, and 2017. The senior Palestinian official further noted that peace will not be achieved at any cost and that President Mahmoud Abbas has already exposed the real intentions of the US-touted Mideast plan. “The Manama workshop is designed to pave the way for the creation and expansion of an emirate in Gaza, separation of Gaza from the West Bank, and the Judaization of al-Quds (Jerusalem),” he said, emphasizing that any plan that disregards the Palestinian legitimacy is doomed to failure. Abu Rudeineh went on to say that any unilateral actions aimed at bypassing Arab and international legitimacy will reach an impasse, and that Palestine has not nominated anyone to negotiate on its behalf. The so-called "Peace to Prosperity" workshop opened in Bahrain on June 25 and will run through June 26. The Palestinian leadership is boycotting the meeting, leading critics to question the credibility of the event. The Palestinian Bar Association (PBA) plans to file a lawsuit against participants in the US-led conference in Manama.

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