US President Donald Trump has presented his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, promising to keep Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.
Trump’s initiative, whose principal author is his son-in-law Jared Kushner, follows a long line of efforts to resolve one of the world’s most intractable issues.
The 50-page political outline recognises Israeli sovereignty over major illegal settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, something to which the Palestinians will almost certainly object. Trump said Israel would be granted security control of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.
Trump said Jerusalem will remain Israel’s “undivided capital”. But he also said under the plan, “eastern Jerusalem” would serve as a capital of a State of Palestine. He did not elaborate on what he meant by eastern Jerusalem. He later said on Twitter the a Palestinian capital could be in parts of “East Jerusalem”.
Trump had already recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.
Responding to the plan, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said Jerusalem is not for sale; all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. “I say to Trump and Netanyahu: 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,” he said in a televised address from Ramallah in the West Bank.
The chief of the Palestinian Hamas movement, Ismail Haniyeh, stated ‘we reject any agreement, deal or project that undermine the certain rights of the Palestinian people.’
Sami Abu Zhuri, a Hamas official, said Trump’s statement was aggressive and the Palestinians will confront this deal. ‘Jerusalem will remain a Palestinian land.’
At least 41 people were wounded after the Israeli forces used rubber bullets and tear gas in the Jordan Valley, the Al-Orub refugee camp and Tulkarem, according to the Red Cross.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed popular mobilisations against the deal, as groups including the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas, which has governed the occupied Gaza Strip since 2007, called for mass protests.
From: Agencies, AMEF