The Palestinian prime minister lashed out Sunday at US President Donald Trump's proposal to end the Mideast conflict, saying it would be "buried very soon."
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Mohammad Shtayyeh said the U.S. plan was "no more than a memo of understanding between (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and Trump."
Shtayyeh criticized the fact that the proposal would leave a future Palestinian state fragmented and with "no sovereignty," allowing Israel to annex large parts of the West Bank. He urged other countries to reject the Trump proposal while maintaining that Palestinians "are open to serious negotiations."
Shtayyeh suggested the Palestinians would seek to increase pressure on Israel through international organizations, citing the recent release by the U.N. human rights office of a list of more than 100 companies allegedly complicit in violating Palestinian human rights by operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Referring to the upcoming Israeli election, Shtayyeh said the difference between Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz and Netanyahu was "not more than the difference between Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola."
Ivanka Trump lauded Sunday a handful of Mideast countries, including close U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for embarking on "significant reforms" to advance women's rights, while speaking at a gathering of women entrepreneurs and regional leaders in Dubai.
The daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump was delivering the keynote address at the two-day Global Women's Forum held in an opulent resort overlooking the city's Persian Gulf coastline.
"We know that when women are free to succeed, families thrive, communities flourish and nations are stronger," Trump said.
The theme of the forum in Dubai was "The Power of Influence." It was an apt theme for Trump, whose loyalty and support for her father's presidency saw her and her husband, Jared Kushner, take up formal roles in the White House as his advisers.
The 38-year-old mother of three has positioned herself as an Oval Office confidante while spearheading initiatives that broadly back women's empowerment. Her husband has become a top adviser on U.S. Mideast policy.
Once the owner of an eponymous fashion line, Ivanka Trump has wielded her proximity to the president to promote policies affecting women and deliver speeches around the world about women's economic empowerment. She meets with world leaders as a key White House official. Some of her efforts even have some bipartisan support in Washington, standing in sharp contrast to the level of controversy and political division surrounding her father's presidency.
In her keynote speech at the women's forum in Dubai on Sunday, Trump touted what she said was the progress of women in the United States.
"Today, American women are leading in every aspect of society. Last year, there were more women than men in the United States workforce, with women securing over 70% of new jobs," she said in her address.
Trump made no mention, however, of legislative obstacles in the U.S. around paid family leave, which she and the U.S president support. Currently, just a few U.S. states offer paid leave.
While questions continue to swirl over just how much influence she wields with her father, the U.S. president gave a glimpse into their relationship in 2017 when he wrote on Twitter: "She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing!" She's previously said that when she disagrees with her father, "he knows it".
During her speech in Dubai, Trump congratulated Saudi Arabia for recent changes in the law that allow women to travel abroad and obtain a passport without the permission of a male relative. In 2018, a ban on women driving cars was lifted. The changes are part of a wide-ranging push to transform the Saudi economy, attract greater foreign investment and ease international criticism.
Trump pointed to changes in other Mideast countries, as well. She said Bahrain had introduced legislation against discrimination in the workplace; Jordan had eliminated legal restrictions on women's ability to work at night; Morocco had expanded women's land rights; and Tunisia had introduced laws to combat domestic violence.
She said, though, more work needed to be done. She noted that across the region, women on average still have only half the legal rights of men.
The audience for her speech in the UAE included Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, World Bank President David Malpass and International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva.
The Dubai ruler is wildly popular at home and is seen as a modernizing force. He has, however, faced some criticism abroad concerning women's rights following reports that one of his daughters tried to flee the country and was forcibly returned. In previous years, Jordanian Princess Haya, with whom Sheikh Mohammed has two children, would have attended a forum of this kind by his side, but she too has reportedly fled the country and is seeking custody of their children in a British court.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have worked to cultivate close ties with the Trump administration and were early supporters of the Women's Empowerment Fund, a World Bank initiative to help female entrepreneurs that Ivanka Trump strongly backs. During the first trip abroad of her father's presidency to Saudi Arabia, the two Gulf countries pledged $100 million to the fund.
In her speech at Sunday's forum, Trump lauded Emirati leaders for "removing barriers to women joining the workforce and developing a national strategy that recognizes that women are central to sustainable growth."
She noted that although 70% of Emirati university graduates are women, only 10% of the UAE's total national income is derived from women.
"We know that this going to grow and flourish in the years ahead," she said.
During her two-day visit to the UAE, Trump met with women entrepreneurs and discussed a U.S. government project she's leading that's aimed at helping women in developing countries. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative was launched last year with backing by her father.
On Saturday, she toured Abu Dhabi's grand mosque, visited Abu Dhabi's branch of the Louvre Museum, and met privately with the country's day-to-day ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
Iraqi prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday dissolved his loyalist group of Blue Hats, who were tasked to protect the anti-government protests in Iraq.
Al-Sadr tweeted that he dissolved the Blue Hats and called on them to merge with the demonstrators without declaring that they are part of al-Sadr Movement.
He said that his move came because the protests return to its original peaceful course, despite that there are still some violent advocates.
Al-Sadr also called on the security forces to protect the peaceful protesters from any other party.
The Blue Hats are unarmed group loyal to al-Sadr and were tasked to protect the anti-government demonstrations in Baghdad and other central and southern Iraqi cities.
However, violent acts and clashes occurred with the demonstrators in Baghdad and other cities during the protests, which resulted in the killing and wounding of dozens of demonstrators and al-Sadr loyalists.
Mass anti-government demonstrations have been continuing in Baghdad and other cities in central and southern Iraq since October of 2019, demanding comprehensive reform, fight against corruption, better public services and more jobs.
According to Iraq's Independent High Commission for Human Rights, the nationwide anti-government protests of over four months has caused the death of 544, with 23,700 others wounded.
Ninety-four percent of Palestinians reject President Donald Trump's Mideast initiative, according to a poll released Tuesday, which also found plummeting support for a two-state solution with Israel and nearly two-thirds backing armed struggle.
The first survey of Palestinian public opinion to be released since Trump's plan was announced undercuts the administration's claims that opposition to the plan is largely confined to the Palestinian leadership and raises concerns that the implementation of the proposal, which heavily favors Israel, could ignite a new round of violence.
The poll by the well-regarded Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research was published as thousands of Palestinians rallied in the West Bank and Gaza to reject the Trump plan and express support for President Mahmoud Abbas in his efforts to gain backing at the U.N. Security Council for a resolution opposing it.
Trump's Mideast plan, announced at the White House on Jan. 28, sides with Israel on virtually all of the most contentious issues of the decades-old conflict. It would allow Israel to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jewish settlements that are home to hundreds of thousands of people and are considered illegal by most of the international community.
The plan would give the Palestinians limited self-rule in several enclaves connected by roads, bridges and tunnels, but only if they meet a long list of stringent conditions.
The Palestinian leadership, which cut off ties with the U.S. after Trump recognized disputed Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 2017, have adamantly rejected the plan.
The opinion survey found that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza also oppose it.
"I don't think we've ever seen such a level of consensus among the Palestinian public," said Khalil Shikaki, the head of the polling center.
Shikaki said support for the idea of a two-state solution with Israel has dropped to the lowest level since the center began carrying out surveys nearly three decades ago, with 39% in favor and 59% opposed. Support for a one-state solution — long rejected by both Israeli and Palestinian leaders — jumped from 28% in December to 37% today.
The poll found that 64% of Palestinians favor a return to armed struggle in response to the plan. Shikaki said the last time support was this high was during the worst days of the Second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising, that convulsed the region from 2000 to 2005.
"In all the questions in which violence is mentioned we see an increase, a significant increase," he said.
Abbas has long been opposed to violence, but has threatened to cut off security coordination with Israel in response to the Trump plan, an approach that would enjoy wide support among Palestinians but one they doubt he will follow through on.
"The public is happy with the policy but it is not happy with the actual behavior of the president," Shikaki said. "The public does not expect the president to go through and implement his own policy."
The survey had a margin of error of 3%.
Abbas' popularity has plummeted in recent years as he has failed to bring about an independent state or mend the internal rift with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which seized Gaza from his forces in 2007. His Palestinian Authority also faces widespread allegations of corruption.
But on Tuesday thousands of Palestinians packed into Manara Square in the West Bank city of Ramallah to vent their anger at the Trump plan and express support for Abbas. A similar rally in support of Abbas was held in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
"Trump is part of the problem not the solution," an English-language banner read. "Trump's plan = apartheid," read another.
"All Palestinian people and all the factions, national and Islamic, are standing behind President Mahmoud Abbas," Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told the crowd in Ramallah. "All the streets are full," he said. "This is the Palestinian response."
As the rally dispersed, dozens of Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces near a settlement just outside Ramallah. The protesters burned tires and hurled stones at Israeli troops, who responded with tear gas.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said two people were lightly wounded by small-caliber gunfire in the clashes and several others were struck by rubber bullets.
Abbas has tried to rally international support against the Trump plan, with limited success.
The U.N. Security Council had been expected to vote on a resolution opposing the plan Tuesday, but diplomats said the vote was delayed after several members, including European countries, objected to the language of the draft. Palestinian officials denied the resolution had been pulled, saying discussions were still underway.
In an address to the Security Council, Abbas reiterated his rejection of the plan, dismissing its map of a future Palestinian state as "Swiss cheese."
The Palestinians want to establish a state in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel seized in the 1967 war.
The European Union issued a statement last week reiterating its support for a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the U.S. initiative "departs from these internationally agreed parameters."
The Arab League unanimously sided with the Palestinians against the plan, but key U.S. allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia said they appreciated Trump's efforts and called for renewed negotiations.
The original draft resolution, co-sponsored by Tunisia and Indonesia and backed by the Palestinians, said the U.S. plan violates international law and Security Council demands for a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.
Any resolution is virtually guaranteed to be vetoed by the United States, but the Palestinians had hoped that a strong show of support from other members of the council would help shore up international backing for their demands.
The commander of the Aerospace Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said Iran has the technology to neutralize the US RQ-4 drone flying thousands of km away from its borders, Tehran Times daily reported Friday.
"We have gained access to the RQ-4 drone's secret codes ... We can make the drone inefficient from a distance of several thousands of kilometers," said Amir Ali Hajizadeh.
A day earlier, Iranian media aired two videos showing what they claimed is the wreckage of a U.S. drone downed by Iran in June last year.
On June 20, the IRGC announced that its air force shot downed "a U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drone" when it entered Iran's airspace near Mobarak Mountain region in the southern coastal province of Hormozgan.