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Despite divisions in wake of Trump’s plan, Israelis & Palestinians labor for peace

Israeli and Palestinian peace activists are worried over increased anti-normalization sentiments across the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli Arabs take part in a protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan in the town of Baqa Al-Gharbiyye, northern Israel February 1, 2020. REUTERS/Ammar Awad - RC2PRE9SJ8D4
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The meeting that took place Feb. 14 between former Knesset members active in the “Peace Parliament” and senior Palestinian officials was initiated by the PLO Committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society. All in all, the mood was friendly and positive. The main messages to come out of this meeting were the rejection of US President Donald Trump's peace plan and a commitment to work for genuine peace between the two parties. The meeting made headlines in the Palestinian media, but when the Palestinian participants went home, they discovered that they were the victims of serious attacks both on social networks and in traditional media.

One of the participants at this meeting was the mayor of the town of Anabta (just east of Tulkarm), Hamdallah Hamdallah. He originally posted about the encounter on social media, but was forced to remove what he had written and went so far as to announce that he was resigning from his position and leaving the Interaction Committee. Even after Hamdallah explained that he was invited to participate in the meeting by the Fatah organization, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian public was reluctant to accept his justification.

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