By Nour Abu Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinian factions on Monday warned against a Bahrain-hosted “economic workshop” slated for June 25 and 26, saying the event is intended to undermine the Palestinian quest for statehood.

“The Manama conference is aimed at destroying the Palestinian national cause under the deceptive slogan, ‘Peace for prosperity’,” they said in a joint statement.

The factions went on to describe the upcoming event as “an attempt by the U.S. administration to initiate the first phase of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’”.

Signatories to the statement included Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement; Gaza-based resistance faction Hamas; Islamic Jihad; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

The factions also commended those countries to have voiced their rejection of the upcoming conference and decried the expected participation of a handful of Arab states, which they described as “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause”.

On May 18, Washington announced plans to convene the conference in Manama, where U.S. officials are expected to unveil economic aspects of the backchannel Middle East peace plan.

Bahrain, for its part, has defended the upcoming meeting, characterizing it as an attempt to “empower” the Palestinians.

Along with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have both officially announced their intention to send representatives to the event.

Evers since U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has rejected any U.S. role in Middle East peacemaking.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Mideast dispute, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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