Published: Mon, July 01, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Palestinian Authority arrests businessman who attended Bahrain conference

Palestinian Authority arrests businessman who attended Bahrain conference

Hebron businessman Saleh Abu Mayaleh has reportedly been allowed to return home after being arrested on Friday night by intelligence agents with the Palestinian Authority police force the night after his return from the US -led "Peace to Prosperity" economic workshop in Bahrain.

The handful of Palestinian businessmen who attended the Bahrain workshop have been branded as "collaborators" by some in the Palestinian leadership, which boycotted the conference.

According to Ashraf Al-Jaabari, who lives under Israeli security control in the West Bank city of Hebron, 15 Palestinian businessmen, including himself, took part in the conference.

A Palestinian official who spoke to Reuters under condition of anonymity said Abu Miala was released overnight between Saturday and Sunday.

A brother of Abu Miala, who asked not to be identified by first name, said Abu Miala had been released.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas could not be reached for comment.

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"Prior plans for Middle East peace over the past five decades have all failed, in large part because they did not seriously insist upon a rights-based approach to peace between Israelis and Palestinians", he added.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted the Trump administration since its 2017 recognition of contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocation of the USA embassy to the city the following year. He said on Twitter that the White House looked forward to further discussions with those who attended the workshop and "anyone else who wants a better future for the Palestinians".

At the Peace to Prosperity conference in Bahrain this week, Kushner rolled out an economic plan that proposed a United States dollars 50 billion investment for the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and countries in the region over the course of 10 years, and pledged to create up to a million new jobs.

Israel's prime minister says the Palestinians are "determined to continue the conflict at any price".

Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine, said in a statement yesterday that without the framework of global law, any peace plan is destined to failure.

Egypt and Jordan, the only two Arab states that have peace agreements with Israel, attended the conference.

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