Hamas lands in Beirut for united Palestinian 'anti-Manama summit'

Hamas lands in Beirut for united Palestinian 'anti-Manama summit'
Hamas will be taking part in the anti-Deal of the Century summit which will take place in Beirut, parallel to the Manama conference.
2 min read
21 June, 2019
It was initially thought Hamas may not have been invited [Getty]

A Hamas delegation is touring Lebanon in preparation to take part in various activities to counter the Deal of the Century summit expected to take place in Bahrain next week.

Members of the Palestinian group have over the week been arriving to Lebanon's capital Beirut to tour the city and organise against the controversial Deal of the Century summit, which Palestinians unanimously believe is a step towards Arab normalisation with Israel.

The group had also announced that it will take part in an intra-Palestinian parallel summit which will take place on 25-26 June, the same days the Manama summit is due to be held.

Initially, only members of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced they will take part in the intra-Palestinian conference.

Hamas was silent about the conference, leading to speculations that the group may have not been invited to attend.

But days later, Hamas representatives in Lebanon announced the Islamist group will be taking part in the parallel Deal of the Century conference, which aims to discuss the future of Palestine.

“Hamas and other factions, including the PLO, will participate in the Beirut conference, which will be held soon, in coordination with the Manama workshop," Ali Baraka said, adding all factions were invited after a common consensus.

Members of the Hamas delegation met with a number of mayors across Lebanon, touring towns and meeting their Lebanon-based Hamas counterparts.

Throwing Palestinians under the bus

The Bahrain conference taking place this month is happening against the will of Palestinians across the board.

It will focus on economic issues and is backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, despite a Palestinian boycott. Palestinians say they were not consulted about the conference.

The conference is part of US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century" peace plan, the details of which have yet to be revealed in full.

The plan has been widely rejected by Palestinians because of Trump’s previous recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and expectations that the plan will recognise Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the West Bank.

Egypt and Jordan's participation at the Bahrain meeting is considered particularly important because they have historically been key players in Middle East peace efforts and are the only Arab states that have peace treaties with Israel.

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