BEIRUT: Representatives of all the Palestinian factions in Lebanon met at their embassy Thursday to show a united front against U.S. President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” in a meeting that was more than eight months in the making.
The Joint Palestinian Action Committee meeting, headed by Palestinian Ambassador Ashraf Dabbour, brought together delegations from Fatah, the Palestinian Liberation Front, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People’s Party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Arab Liberation Front, the Popular Struggle Front, the Palestinian Democratic Union, As-Saiqa, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad Movement, Fatah al-Intifada, Ansar Allah, Mujahid Islamic Movement and Osbat al-Ansar.
The committee was reactivated in September 2018 as the result of an initiative by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, following his brokering of a reconciliatory talk between Hamas and Fatah that had ended a two-month break in communication. However, the group’s members did not meet until Thursday due to divisions among some groups.
Thursday’s reconvening was a move aimed at unifying the Palestinian position in the face of recent threats, including Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, move its embassy there and cut aid to Palestinian aid organizations.
One Palestinian source told The Daily Star that Trump’s “deal of the century” Middle East peace plan is now “the greater danger” for Palestinian refugees in the region.
This week, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner launched the economic side of the plan, which offers financial aid to host countries, apparently in return for their commitment to permanently settle Palestinian refugees. Lebanon did not attend the conference in the Bahraini capital of Manama, at which the plan was launched.
In order to face this new challenge, the source said that “all Palestinian parties must put aside their differences and work to strengthen a unified position in rejection of this deal ... as well as to follow up on the situation for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.”
The group is scheduled to meet every 15 days at the Palestinian Embassy in Beirut.
Ambassador Dabbour “expressed his satisfaction” with the return of the group that is in the interests of all Palestinians in Lebanon, an embassy statement said, adding that “the Palestinian embassy in Lebanon is the home of all Palestinians.”