Lebanon Opposes U.S. Plan for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Says PM Hariri

Lebanon was invited to Jared Kushner's Bahrain conference but is not attending

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al-Hariri in a press conference, Beirut, November 2018.
al-Hariri in a press conference, Beirut, November 2018. Credit: Hussein Malla/AP

The Lebanese government and parliament both oppose a U.S. plan for settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Wednesday, the National News Agency reported.

The first phase of U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to revive the peace process is being discussed at an economic workshop in Bahrain and calls for a $50 billion investment fund to boost the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab state economies.

The $6 billion set aside for Lebanon has been widely seen in the country as an incentive to accept the permanent settlement of Palestinians who have lived among the Lebanese as refugees since the creation of Israel in 1948.

All the main Lebanese parties oppose the permanent settlement of Palestinians, largely for fear of disturbing the sectarian balance between Christians and Muslims.

"The government with parliament are against this deal and our constitution bans naturalisation," Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, said.

Parliament speaker Nabih Berri, a Shi'ite Muslim, came out strongly against the U.S. initiative on Sunday, saying anyone who thought "waving billions of dollars" could get Lebanon to barter "over its principles" was mistaken.

The heavily armed, Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah has declared the plan a "historic crime" that must be stopped.

Lebanon was invited to the Bahrain conference but is not attending.