“The ‘deal of the century,’ or the deal of disgrace, will go to hell,” said Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas at a ceremony in Ramallah on Monday.
Speaking of the U.S.-sponsored conference in Bahrain scheduled for June 25-26, Abbas added that “the economic project they [the conference participants] are working on for next month will also go to hell … we said we are not going to accept this meeting and its results because they are selling us illusions that will lead to nothing.”
“The Palestinian Authority does not recognize this conference,” Abbas said.
The P.A. announced a boycott of the Trump administration at the end of 2017, following the official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
Last Wednesday, the P.A. officially rejected an invitation to participate in the Bahrain conference, with top P.A. negotiator Saeb Erekat saying that “the conference will surely fail without Palestinian participation.”
Bahraini foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa urged the P.A. to send representatives, saying the conference was intended to help Palestinians “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources.”
Though no official Palestinian authorities are expected to attend, wealthy Hebron businessman Ashraf Jabari, who has maintained close ties to the Trump administration and peaceful relations with the Jewish community of Hebron, has said he will attend.
The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced they would send delegates. Israel will send its finance minister, Moshe Kahlon.