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Saudis endorses Trump's ‘deal of the century’

SAUDI ARABIA endorsed President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” as the reactionary kingdom launched a new campaign targeting Palestinians.

Foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir praised Mr Trump’s Middle East “peace plan,” launched in Washington last month, saying it had “positive elements” for negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

Speaking during a visit to Romania, he also recognised that the plan had been rejected by the Palestinians, confirming that “it doesn’t meet their requirements.”

While Mr Jubeir welcomed the US plan, he also said that “it is our duty to support the Palestinians.”

The long-awaited “peace plan” was finally announced at a joint White House press conference with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu in January.

No Palestinian organisation was present when the proposed deal was unveiled and none has had any input into its content.

It was met with widespread opposition and condemnation from governments and international organisations including the EU and UN.

The announcement sparked major protests across Gaza and the occupied West Bank, including a general strike that paralysed the Palestinian territories.

It has been rejected by the Palestinian Authority, with all Palestinian factions united behind President Mahmoud Abbas on the issue, saying that it should “consigned to the dustbin of history.”

The plan was also rejected by the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

But the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry said that it appreciated the Trump administration’s efforts, supporting direct peace negotiations taking place under the guidance of the US.

Saudi Arabia has been condemned for launching a campaign targeting Palestinians for their support of Hamas.

It follows a similar offensive in April last year which saw large numbers of Palestinians detained, including the 81-year-old senior Hamas figure Muhammad al-Khudari.

They are accused by Saudi authorities of funding Palestinian resistance groups and setting up illegal organisations to defend the rights of Palestinian and Jordanian prisoners.

A report last year by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor claimed that Saudi Arabia is “forcibly hiding” as many as 60 Palestinians.

Prisoners of Conscience said that “resistance is not a crime” and demanded the immediate release of all those detained and a halt to trials which are due to start on March 8.

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