The White House released on June 22 the first half of its long-awaited Middle East peace plan, the so-called deal of the century, which President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and other members of the administration had reportedly been working on since November 2017. Of the $50 billion in the economic portion of the plan, the lion’s share would be invested in the Palestinian territories over the course of 10 years, while the rest would be given to Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Kushner presented the plan at a workshop in Manama, Bahrain, on June 25-26, and ruled out any political discussions about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict until the political portion of the plan is released in the fall of this year.
Palestinian leaders had already stated they would be boycotting the workshop in May, and Lebanon joined them by declining its own invitation to Manama. The Lebanese and Palestinian Working Groups on Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon both roundly rejected the deal June 25, and the next day, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri did the same in Lebanon’s parliament.