Hamas refuses to lay down arms in exchange for $15 billion worth of investments in Gaza

# 19:58
27 July 2020

Hamas, an armed movement that is the de-facto governing authority in the Gaza Strip, has rejected an offer of investing $15 billion into economic projects in the coastal enclave in exchange for disarming the Palestinian opposition, Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh announced, APA reports citing Maan news agency.

"Two months ago, mediators communicated an offer to the movement, which proposed multibillion investments into infrastructure projects, including construction of an airport and a seaport," he said. "It was conditioned on the disarmament of the Islamic movement of liberation and its integration into police structures and administration of the strip as well as giving up resistance and Jerusalem." "Hamas will not accept the ‘deal of the century’ or any other similar proposal," he underlined.

According to Haniyeh, the Gaza Strip is in desperate need for infrastructure. "However, we are not ready to obtain it by giving up Jerusalem, rights of Palestinians to return to homelands and Palestine as a united states rather than enclaves split between each other," he added.

US President Donald Trump revealed key provisions of the so-called ‘deal of the century’ with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on January 28. The deal is a plan to achieve peaceful settlement between Israelis and Palestinians which is based on mutual recognition of the two states. The US proposes connecting Palestinian territories in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by high-speed railway service, while recognizing only a part of East Jerusalem as the Arab state’s capital (Netanyahu said that Jerusalem’s Abu Dis neighborhood is meant to become the capital). At the same time, the US leader described Jerusalem Israel’s "undivided capital" and announced the US intention to recognize the Israeli sovereignty over Jewish settlements founded on Palestinian territories.

As a condition for the peaceful process, the US leader said that Palestinian authorities should seize supporting Hamas, radical movement operating in the Gaza Strip, as well as renounce means of armed fighting. To advance the settlement process, the US promises that the deal will bring in $50 billion in investments which will particularly be allocated to create new jobs for Palestinians and compensations for lost homes.

Palestinians rejected the American plan almost immediately after it emerged.