Palestinians ‘will act negatively at first’, US president says onboard Air Force One
Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem
Fri 24 Jan 2020
Donald Trump with Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2017. The US president has invited the Israeli prime minister for talks in Washington. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
Donald Trump said he will probably release details of his long-delayed peace plan for the Middle East before next Tuesday, after he invited the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the opposition head, Benny Gantz, to Washington for talks.
Speaking onboard Air Force One en route to Miami, the US president compared solving one of the world’s most intractable territorial disputes to a business deal.
“I love doing deals,” he told reporters.
“They say peace between Israel and the Palestinians is the toughest – the toughest of any deal.” He added he would “probably release” the plan a little prior to the Tuesday meeting.
Few political aspects of the proposal, which has been drafted by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have been released. Kushner proposed a $50bn economic plan for the Middle East in July to a cool regional reception. Palestinian leaders have preemptively rejected any peace initiatives as bias, and an attempt to bully them to relinquish long-held demands for a state and a resolution for Palestinian refugees.
Israeli media, citing unnamed Israeli officials, reported that the plan would be extremely favourable to the country, allowing it to take permanent control of much of the Palestinian territories, including Jewish settlements, and all of contested Jerusalem. The Palestinians may be granted some form of self-rule but under tight restrictions.
Categories: The Muslim Times