Palestinians protest against Bahrain peace conference

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) –


Hundreds of Palestinians protested on Monday against a US economic peace proposal, a day ahead of an American-led conference in Bahrain.

Protesters gathered in cities in the occupied West Bank, including Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron, where clashes broke out, AFP journalists said.

The economic conference, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday in the Gulf Arab state, has been billed by the US as a potential opportunity for the Palestinians to access billions in investment in the event of peace with Israel.

But the Palestinians have already rejected the conference, accusing the United States of pro-Israeli bias and seeking to buy off their ambitions for independence and statehood.

In a protest near Hebron in the southern West Bank, protesters sat around a coffin with the words "No to the deal of the century" on it, a derogatory phrase for US President Donald Trump's peace proposals.

Protesters also burned pictures of Trump and the King of Bahrain, an AFP correspondent said.

Major Palestinian factions have called for new protests in the West Bank and Gaza on Tuesday.

Speaking before a weekly cabinet meeting on Monday morning, Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the plan was "simply nonsense".

"I have not seen in the document any reference to occupation. I have not seen in the document any reference to settlements," Shtayyeh said.

"A Palestinian-Israeli solution has only to do with ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state."