Hoping to bring about a “new dawn in the Middle East,” U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his peace plan for the region on Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing at his side.
“My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security,” Trump said in the White House East Room.
Notably absent was any representative of the Palestinians, who rejected the peace plan even before getting a glimpse of the 80-page proposal, and who were not included in talks about the plan.
“Jerusalem is not for sale. All our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in televised remarks directed at Trump from Ramallah in the West Bank.
Trump sees such initial rejections as a temporary hitch and told those gathered in the East Room that he sent a letter to Abbas, telling him that if he chooses “the path to peace, America and many other countries, we will be there. We will be there to help you in so many different ways.”
Acceptance of the plan would lead to $50 billion of outside investment, a million jobs created for Palestinians over a decade, and a doubling or tripling of Palestinians' GDP, Trump promised.
“It is time for the Muslim world to fix the mistake it made in 1948 when it chose to attack, instead of recognize, the new State of Israel,” the president said.
Egypt, one of the countries that declared war on Israel at that time, is not rejecting Trump’s vision. The country expressed appreciation of continuing U.S. efforts to realize a fair and comprehensive peaceful settlement for the Palestinian problem, according to the Middle East News Agency in Cairo.
"Jordan supports every genuine effort aimed at achieving just and comprehensive peace that people will accept," Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a statement.
Present in the East Room were the ambassadors of Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Analysts say a public statement from Riyadh lending Saudi support to Trump’s plan would carry more weight, as the kingdom is the dominant Sunni Muslim power.
Trump proposes a Palestine with limited sovereignty — doubling the size of land currently occupied by Palestinians — and Israel annexing about a third of the disputed West Bank.
Israel’s government is now set to vote Sunday on annexing the strategic Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Jerusalem would remain Israel’s capital, and the eastern part of the holy city would be the Palestinian capital where the United States would open an embassy to Palestine, said Trump.
“I’m prepared to seize the moment and change history,” Netanyahu told the invited crowd of supporters. "Your deal of the century is the opportunity of the century,” he told Trump.
Netanyahu said if the Palestinians abide by the terms laid out, “Israel will be prepared to negotiate peace right away.”
Source : VOA