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Palestinians Reject Upcoming Peace Plan Summit, One Palestinian Businessman May Go Anyway

Senior Advisor Jared Kushner Meets with P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, Photo, AP

Palestinian leaders say they will not attend the upcoming "Peace to Prosperity" workshop on June 25-26 where US leaders will unveil part of the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

"The cabinet wasn't consulted about the reported workshop, neither over the content, nor the outcome, nor timing," Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told Reuters.

Even though the White House says the summit and the peace deal will focus heavily on improving the economic condition of the Palestinian people, Palestinian leaders have preemptively rejected the plan.

Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said in July that the proposal would be "dead on arrival."

Palestinian minister for social affairs and member of the PLO's Executive Committee Ahmad Majdalani also told Reuters that Palestinian officials who participate are considered "collaborators". "Collaborators" are considered traitors to the Palestinian people and are subject to jail time or even execution.

"Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel," he told the news agency.

That hasn't stopped one Palestinian businessman from saying he may attend anyway.

The Times of Israel reports that Ashraf Jabari was one of several Palestinian businessmen who were invited by the White House to attend the summit.

Jabari appears to be the only one planning to go.

"God willing, I will be able to make it," he told The Times of Israel, adding that he will discuss the issue with his colleagues before giving a definite answer.

Jabari is an anomaly in Palestinian society. He has close ties to the Trump administration, is a former officer of the Palestinian Authority security forces, and is supportive of Israeli settler communities in the West Bank.

Jabari also rejects the two-state solution because he does not believe it is viable. He wants a unified state where both Israelis and Palestinians can live together.

"Nobody in Israel is willing to sign off on a plan based on the 1967 borders. On the Palestinian side, there's nobody willing to sign off on what the Israelis would be willing to offer. In the end, we are left with problems and violence. Therefore, I say that if we've waited for over 25 years [since Oslo]  for a Palestinian state and we didn't get — it's very sad that it won't happen, but let's continue forward toward a one state [solution]," Jabari said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has yet to indicate whether he would send a delegation to the workshop to the upcoming summit, but a spokesperson for him said that the US plan is "futile."

President Donald Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner hopes the summit will help create a brighter future for the entire Middle East.

"The Palestinian people, along with all people in the Middle East, deserve a future with dignity and the opportunity to better their lives," he said in a statement.

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