After meeting Netanyahu, Trump says will announce ‘very big’ West Asia peace plan
US President Donald Trump has said he plans to announce a “very big plan” to resolve the decades-long West Asia dispute on Tuesday. He discussed the proposals with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader Benny Gantz in separate meetings at the White House Monday.
No details were available of the plan or any of the proposals that have remained secret and have already generated much skepticism among Palestinians who fear it will deny them their chief demand, a separate state, and will be entirely one-sided to favour Israel.
“It’s a very big plan, it will be a suggestion between Israel and the Palestinians, it’s the closest it’s ever come and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said after receiving Netanyahu, and went on to concede its biggest drawback, lack of buy-in from the Palestinians. “We have the support of the prime minister, we have the support of the other parties, and we think we will ultimately have the support of the Palestinians, but we’re going to see.”
He added, sounding a note of optimism, “This is an opportunity for peace. We’ll show a plan that has been worked on by everyone. We’ll see if it catches hold. If it does, that’d be great. If it doesn’t, it’s okay.”
The two leaders did not take questions. The meeting with Opposition leader Gantz followed after an hour.
Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh dismissed thee plan ahead of the meetings in in Washington DC. This plan is to protect Trump against being impeached and to protect Netanyahu from going to jail, and it is not a peace plan,” he said in Ramallah, West Bank. He was referring to the ongoing senate trial to whether or not to remove President Trump from office, after his impeachment by the House in December, and corruption charges against Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Palestinians, who broke off all contacts with the United States following Trump’s 2017 decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, were not consulted for the plan and are convinced it will deny them a separate state in East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza Strip, as the key demand.