Nine in ten Palestinians distrust US economic plan: poll

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) –


Nine in ten Palestinians do not believe or trust the US government's claim that its recently unveiled economic plan aims to improve their economic wellbeing, a poll published Wednesday found.

President Donald Trump's administration presented the economic part of its Israeli-Palestinian peace proposals, dubbed 'Peace to Prosperity, in the Bahraini capital Manama on June 25-6.

But the poll, carried out by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the first since the Manama conference, found overwhelming distrust of Washington.

The Palestinians refused to attend the conference, accusing the US of systematic pro-Israel bias.

Ninety percent of the 1,200 people polled said they did not believe or trust Washington's claim that the Bahrain meetings aimed to improve Palestinians' economic conditions.

Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, who is leading the peace plan, has said he is seeking to reach out to ordinary Palestinians, bypassing their leaders.

But the survey also found 79 percent of the Palestinian population supported their leaders' boycott of the conference, while just 15 percent were opposed to that position.

More than three quarters believed the US plan would not bring prosperity to the Palestinian economy.

The poll also found three quarters of Palestinians wanted their leaders to outright reject the US plan.

Fifteen percent said the plan should be accepted with reservations and just four percent wanted to accept it without reservations.

The Trump administration has taken a series of steps that have stoked Palestinian anger, including recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

Palestinians consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their own future state and Trump's move broke with decades of consensus.

Both the Palestinian Authority and its rival Hamas -- the Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip -- have lambasted the US economic plan as an attempt to buy them off, in return for foregoing any claim to their own state.