By Adam Moro
Washington hopes to provide aid to the Palestinians in return for political concessions within the context of a U.S.-backed Middle East peace plan, Mohamed ElBaradei, a former Egyptian vice-president, said Friday.
“It appears the American plan now is to provide economic aid to the people of Gaza and the West Bank in return for making unfair concessions under the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’,” ElBaradei, who briefly served as Egypt’s vice-president in 2013, said.
The “Deal of the Century” is a backchannel plan by the U.S. administration aimed at reaching a lasting peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
“When will they [the U.S.] understand that the right to freedom cannot be bought and that the Palestinians are fully aware of what they are up to?” ElBaradei asked.
Notably, ElBaradei made the assertions only one day after a meeting in Cairo between Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and two top-level U.S. administration officials, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt.
Kushner and Greenblatt are currently on a tour of the region that will also bring them to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Many observers believe the tour’s main objective is to sound out regional leaders regarding proposed terms of U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan.
The Palestinian leadership, however, has voiced its rejection of U.S. mediation since December, when Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.