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International Relations

The Palestinians on Monday vowed to reject a U.S.-led peace initiative to be presented in Bahrain that dangles the prospect of $50 billion as an Israeli envoy bluntly told them they should “surrender”.

Finance chiefs from the U.S., oil-rich Arab states and international development institutions were flying to the tiny kingdom, which in a rarity is openly welcoming Israelis, who have forged an indirect alliance with Gulf rulers due to mutual hostility with Iran.

Led by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, the Peace to Prosperity economic workshop that begins Tuesday evening is billed as the start of a new approach that will later include political solutions to the long intractable West Asian conflict.

It proposes raising more than $50 billion in fresh investment for the Palestinians and their Arab neighbours with major projects to boost infrastructure, education, tourism and cross-border trade.

The Palestinian Authority is boycotting the workshop, denouncing the plan for saying nothing about ending the Israeli occupation. President Mahmud Abbas has said the Palestinians “will not be slaves or servants” of Mr. Kushner or other Trump aides. “For America to turn the whole cause from a political issue into an economic one, we cannot accept this.”

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