by WorldTribune Staff, June 30, 2019
Two of three Palestinian businessmen who attended the recent U.S.-led economic workshop in Bahrain avoided arrest by Palestinian security forces by crossing the Green Line to Israeli-controlled territory, reports say.
One of the businessmen who participated in the conference, Salah Abu Miala, was arrested on June 29 and later released, according to U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt.
“We are pleased the PA has released the Palestinian they arrested after attending the Peace to Prosperity workshop. We look fwd to continuing our conversation w all who attended the workshop & anyone else who wants a better future for the Palestinians,” wrote Greenblatt.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abu Miala, whose “sole crime was taking part in an economic conference aimed at advancing the Palestinian economy,” was released “due to American pressure.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) boycotted the economic conference in Bahrain.
Former Palestinian Minister of Detainees Ashraf al-Ajrami told i24NEWS that the Palestinian businessmen would face some sort of backlash upon returning from Bahrain.
“These people are totally isolated from the Palestinian society, and they will be punished (for going to Bahrain). They can’t do any business in the Palestinian territories,” Ajrami said.
Another Palestinian who attended the conference, Ashraf Ghanem, reportedly managed to flee detention by crossing into Israel after security forces had attempted to arrest him in Hebron, i24NEWS reported.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) slammed the Bahrain conference as an attempt to sell a “mirage of economic prosperity” to the Palestinians that will only perpetuate their “captivity.”
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner criticized the Palestinian leadership’s decision not to attend the conference, but stressed that the “U.S. has not given up on the Palestinians.”