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PA mayor forced to resign after participating in rally against Trump peace deal in Tel Aviv with other PA figures

Headline: “Popular rejection of a normalization conference that ‘took place with the knowledge of the Palestinian leadership’”

“In light of the Palestinian popular rejection of the ‘Yes to Peace’ normalization conference – which took place yesterday (Friday) [Feb. 14, 2020] in Tel Aviv with the participation of Palestinian figures to discuss the ramifications of ‘the deal of the century’ (i.e., refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan; see note below) and ways to block and thwart it – Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society member Saleh Hakawati emphasized that the meeting ‘was held with the knowledge of the leadership.’

Participating in the normalization conference,which was titled ‘Yes to Peace, No to Annexation’ and ‘Two States for Two Peoples – Israel and Palestine,’were Palestinian ministers and figures, including: former [PA] Minister of Finance Bassem Khouri, former [PA] Minister of Prisoners Ashraf Al-Ajrami, previous [PA] Minister of Local Authorities and former Head of the [PA] Presidential Office Hussein Al-A’araj, former [PA] Minister of Health Fathi Abu Mughli, Mayor of Anabta in the Tulkarem district Hamdallah Ahmed, Member of the dissolved [PA] Parliament (Legislative Council) Bernard Sabella, and Deputy Chairman of the PLO Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society Elias Zananiri…

Israeli figures and ministers participated in the conference. The conference was held in cooperation between ‘The Israeli Peace Parliament’ and ‘The Palestinian Forum for Freedom and Peace.’

Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society member Saleh Hakawati said today (Saturday) to [the UK Arab news website] Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the meeting, which was held at the Union of Journalists in Israel building, took place with the knowledge of the Palestinian leadership, and that its goal was to create a connection with the Israelis who have raised a voice against the deal of the century…

Hakawati explained that he was not personally present at the meeting. He emphasized: ‘The meeting is one of the paths of Palestinian political action, and it is part of the method of action of the Palestinian leadership, which believes in political means for resolving the Palestinian problem.At this stage, it constitutes a political need and a door that we are knocking on just as we are knocking on many other doors at the diplomatic level.’ …

Regarding the popular responses and the responses from the organizations against meetings of this kind, Hakawati emphasized that the committee ‘respects all opinions, but believes in its path.’

Hakawati said that he is unaware of the resignation tendered by Anabta Mayor Hamdallah Ahmed, which he published on his Facebook page and the reason for which he attributed to the criticism he has been dealing with due to his work in the municipality. He said: ‘It is regrettable that he is resigning due to his participation in the meeting.’

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) emphasized in a statement: ‘These incessant normalization meetings constitute a knife [in the back of] the Palestinian people, and they are taking place under the direct auspices of the PA leadership, and especially the [PA] Presidential Office.’ It demanded to disband the so-called ‘Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society.’ The PFLP emphasized: ‘Participation in this normalization meeting with hostile Zionist forces and figures proves the PLO leadership’s lack of seriousness about everything connected to implementing the decisions of the national consensus regarding disconnecting from the Oslo Accords and stopping all of the meetings and connections with the [Zionist] entity, and especially the security [connections], and foremost among them the security coordination.’”

The Trump peace plan – US President Donald Trump announced his Israel–Palestinian peace plan "Peace to Prosperity" – commonly known as “the deal of the century” - on Jan. 28, 2020. Main points of the plan: 1- Israeli sovereignty would be applied to the Jordan Valley and all Israeli towns and cities in the West Bank. 2- Jerusalem, including all its holy sites, would remain under Israeli sovereignty with accommodations made to enable access for Palestinians. 3- The remainder of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and part of what is currently Israeli land in the Negev, the Galilee, and Jerusalem - creating a territory almost equal in size to the West Bank and Gaza Strip - would form the Palestinian state, with its capital in neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are outside of Israel's security wall. 4- The Palestinian state would be demilitarized, with Israel responsible for external security and controlling all airspace. 5- All Palestinian prisoners except murderers, and those who attempted or conspired to murder would be released. 6- Palestinians in refugee camps would be absorbed into their host countries and, subject to certain limitations, into the Palestinian state. 7- Before becoming a state, the Palestinians would have to carry out extensive reform of their laws and institutions, including implementing a new governing system; granting its people due process and basic human rights and freedoms; end all incitement to and incentivizing of terror; end all glorification of terror and martyrdom; disarm Hamas; and adopt a culture promoting peace. The goal of the plan is to create a Palestinian state beside Israel, living in peace and security. The implementation would be facilitated through extensive international investment. 

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has planned and carried out numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians since its founding in 1967 and throughout the Palestinian terror campaign between 2000- 2005 (the Intifada).