President Donald Trump is expected to reveal details of his Middle East peace plan this week, as two Israeli leaders are being invited to the White House.
A report in the Times of Israel summarized the plan, which Trump has in the past billed as the “deal of the century,” as giving Israel total sovereignty in Jerusalem and allowing it to annex all West Bank settlements.
It said Palestinians will be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, demilitarize Gaza and have the terrorist group Hamas turn in its weapons.
Trump has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Netanyahu’s chief political rival, Benny Gantz, to Washington for a Tuesday meeting. Gantz said he and Netanyahu would meet separately with Trump, and that he will return to Israel prior to Netanyahu’s meeting with Trump, according to The Guardian.
In announcing the invitations, Vice President Mike Pence said the meetings will discuss achieving “peace in the Holy Land.”
“We’ve had no better friend than President Trump,” Netanyahu said, according to NBC. “With this invitation, I think that the president is seeking to give Israel peace and security, the peace and security that it deserves.
“For three years I have discussed with President Trump and his team our security and national needs — dozens of discussions and hundreds of hours. In all of these talks, I found a receptive ear in the White House for the essential needs of the state of Israel,” he said Sunday, according to The Guardian.
“I am going to Washington with a great sense of purposes, great responsibility and great chance, and I am hopeful we can make history.”
Trump said he would release some details of the plan before the meeting.
“Probably we’ll release it a little bit prior to that,” he said Thursday, according to The Washington Post.
“It’s a great plan,” he said, according to The New York Times. “It’s a plan that really would work.”
However, he noted in a Thursday Twitter post that some reports on the plan’s details were premature.
The United States looks forward to welcoming Prime Minister @Netanyahu & Blue & White Chairman @Gantzbe to the @WhiteHouse next week. Reports about details and timing of our closely-held peace plan are purely speculative.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2020
In his comments to reporters, Trump touched on his communication with the Palestinians about the plan.
“We’ve spoken to them briefly. But we will speak to them in a period of time,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “And they have a lot of incentive to do it. I’m sure they maybe will react negatively at first, but it’s actually very positive for them.”
Palestinian criticism is already flowing.
In a Twitter post, Bassem Naim, a Hamas official, wrote that the proposal could trigger a new uprising.
If what is published in the media abt #Trump deal correct, it means a new #Nakba 4 the Palestinians & the end of any opportunity 4 political solutions. Palestinians will hinder the implementation of the deal, whatever the price. It will trigger a new #Intifada. TO BE OR NOT TO BE pic.twitter.com/5A18MNMvkC
— Dr. Basem Naim (@basemn63) January 23, 2020
“For sure it’s going to be a complete rejection of the plan,” said Mahmoud al-Aloul, vice chairman of the ruling Fatah party, according to The Washington Post.
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