In Moscow, Palestine factions slam US ‘Deal of Century’

MOSCOW (AA): Leaders of all major Palestinian political groups say they will not accept a backchannel U.S. plan, dubbed the “Deal of the Century”, to establish a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.

At a Wednesday press conference in Moscow, held following three days of discussions, representatives of 12 Palestinian factions were united in their rejection of the U.S. plan, which, they say, would “lock the Palestinians up in the Gaza Strip and cut them off from the rest of the world”.

Azzam al-Ahmad, Fatah’s representative at the talks, called the plan “a trap”, saying: “If this scenario is carried out, even the sky over Palestine will be occupied”.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, al-Ahmad asserted: “The U.S. plan calls for a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and in parts of the Sinai Peninsula [in Egypt], but without borders with any other state but Israel.”

Nor does the plan give the Palestinians their sought-for capital in East Jerusalem, he added.

“With no airport and blocked in from all sides by Israel, the Palestinians would be extremely dependent,” al-Ahmad said. “It would be like creating a Palestinian ghetto.”

Leading Hamas member Mousa Abu Marzouk, for his part, slammed the U.S. initiative as a “Zionist plot”.

“We can’t allow the Gaza Strip to be isolated,” he said. “We reject this American solution to the problem, which they refer to as the ‘Deal of the Century’.”

Faction representatives also criticized a major Middle East conference that kicked off in Warsaw on Wednesday, describing it as “an attempt to paper over the Palestinian problem”.

While the inter-Palestinian talks in Moscow ended without any documents being signed, faction representatives wrapped up the press conference with urgent calls for national reconciliation, “since only a united Palestine can resist this U.S.-Israeli conspiracy”.