General strike in Gaza, protests rage against Trump’s ‘deal of the century’
Palestinians protest against the US-Israeli Middle East plan. | AP

Palestinians waged a general strike in the besieged Gaza Strip Jan. 29 as protests continued to rage against the “dismal” Middle East peace plan announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

His so-called “deal of the century” has been met by global condemnation with international governments and progressives branding it as “shameful” and unworkable.

Gaza came to a virtual standstill with government and financial institutions closed, while schools and universities suspended classes.

Thousands demonstrated in the occupied West Bank, burning tires and raising flags emblazoned with the slogan “Palestine Not For Sale,” angered over the plans to annex more of their land.

Mr. Trump announced the “deal” in a joint press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with no Palestinian representatives present.

It was immediately rejected by the United Nations, which warned that Trump was trying to impose his own version of the two-state solution.

“The UN remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis in resolving the conflict on the basis of United Nations resolutions, international law, and bilateral agreements, and realizing the vision of two states — Israel and Palestine — living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines,” UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric confirmed.

Democratic Party presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders blasted the plan and said that the US “must end the Israeli occupation and enable Palestinian self-determination in an independent state of its own alongside a secure Israel.

“Trump’s so-called ‘peace deal’ doesn’t come close, and will only perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable.”

The Palestinian rights organization B’Tselem likened the deal to Swiss cheese, “with the cheese being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians.”

It said that Trump’s plan “legitimizes, entrenches and even expands the scope of Israel’s human rights abuses” which have been going on for more than 50 years.

“Israel will be able to continue plundering Palestinian land and resources; it will also get to keep its settlements and even annex more territory,” the group said.

“Palestinians, on the other hand, will be relegated to small, enclosed, isolated enclaves, with no control over their lives as the plan eternalizes the fragmentation of Palestinian space into disconnected slivers of territory in a sea of Israeli control, not unlike the Bantustans of South Africa’s apartheid regime.”

The plan “is no solution at all, just a recipe for generations more of oppression, injustice, and violence,” it concluded.

Palestinian factions affirmed their unity in support for President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of the plan. Further meetings are set to take place next week with a plan to confront the deal.

Morning Star


CONTRIBUTOR

Steve Sweeney
Steve Sweeney

Steve Sweeney writes for the Morning Star, the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. He is also a People's Assembly National Committee member, patron of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign, and a proud trade unionist.

     

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