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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Palestinian leadership gave a cool response to the White House's announcement that it will launch the economic part of its Middle East peace plan next month at a conference in Bahrain, with one top official indicating they will not show up.

Why it matters: The White House put forward the economic part of the plan first so the Palestinians, who have been boycotting relations with the U.S. since President Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, would not reject it out of hand.

  • The Palestinians fear that the Trump administration is trying to give them huge economic benefits in return for giving up on their political aspirations — mainly an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Driving the news: Palestinian Social Development Minister Ahmed Majdalani said after Monday's Cabinet meeting that Palestinian officials will not attend the conference in Bahrain.

  • Prominent Palestinian businessman Bashar Al-Masri wrote on his Facebook page that he was invited to the conference but decided that he and his employees will not participate because the event is outside the Palestinian consensus.

What else they're saying:

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh struck a pessimistic tone, saying, "An economic initiative without a political horizon will lead nowhere."
  • Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said at the top of the Cabinet meeting that the Palestinians were not consulted at all regarding the timing and the substance of the Bahrain conference. He added, "We are not looking to improve our conditions of life under Israeli occupation but for a political solution that will end the occupation and will lead to a Palestinian state."
  • PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said, "Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected."

Worth noting: Israel still hasn't reacted at all to the White House announcement.

Go deeper: Kushner says Middle East peace plan focuses on "drawing the borders"

Go deeper

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.