Photo Credit: Al Jazeera, screen grab
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, interviewed by Al Jazeera, June 21 2019

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera this weekend that the upcoming U.S.-led economic workshop hosted by Bahrain in Manama is an attempt to “jumpstart the Palestinian economy.”

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“That’s the purpose and that’s the focus” of the ‘Peace to Prosperity‘ workshop, Friedman said. “To improve the quality of life of Palestinians.”

The Palestinian Authority, however, has officially rejected the American effort and instead is organizing protests against the workshop in front of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the capital cities of each Arab nation participating in the summit.

READ: US Embassy in Israel Bans Employees from Judea, Samaria During Bahrain Workshop

“I don’t know that the Palestinian Authority is the last word on how to create a better life for the Palestinians,” Friedman said in the interview. “The Palestinians themselves should have a say in that.”

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and a host of private international Arab businessmen say they plan to attend.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.