Daily US Times, Washington: US President Donal Trump presented his long-awaited Middle-East peace plan at the White House while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing beside him.
Mr. Trump promised to keep Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital and proposed an independent Palestinian state and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements.
US president said this could be the last opportunity for Palestinians.
In the press briefing, Trump said: “Today, Israel takes a big step towards peace.”
“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.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas almost immediately denied the proposals in a TV address from Ramallah in the West Bank.
“I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for a bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass”, Mr. Abbas said.
The proposal was made under the stewardship of President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and aims to solve one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.
Earlier on Tuesday, thousands of Palestinians protested in the Gaza Strip while the Israeli military deployed reinforcements in the occupied West Bank.
The US ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that the timing of the announcement was not tied to any political development, adding it had been “fully baked” for some time.
The long-awaited Middle-East peace plan came in a time when reports said that Israel was planning to press ahead with annexing 30% of the occupied West Bank, with a cabinet vote due on Sunday.
More than four thousands of Israelis live in West Bank settlements. Under international law, those settlements are considered illegal, but Israel disputes this.
The US ambassador to Israel said Israel did “not have to wait at all” to move ahead with annexation.
Key points in the proposals
Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided capital. Israel and the Palestinians hold competing claims to the holy city. The Palestinians insist Israel occupied East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.
The US will recognize Israeli sovereignty over territory that President Trump’s plan envisages being part of Israel. The plan includes a conceptual map that the US president says illustrates the territorial compromises that Israel is willing to make
The map will “more than double the Palestinian territory and provide a Palestinian capital in eastern Jerusalem”. Trump said the US would open an embassy there.
Suggesting the existing Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank will remain, Trump said.
“No Palestinians or Israelis will be uprooted from their homes”.