A long-awaited US plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal apparently will be very detailed in its plans, a White House official said last Wednesday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the plan would include a major economic component, according to Reuters.
There’s no timetable at the moment for when the White House wants to make the plan public, and the official said a strategy for rolling it out was still being developed, according to The Times of Israel.
After White House aide Jared Kushner and senior negotiator Jason Greenblatt toured the region, expectations grew that some sort of bigger scheme was being drawn up to move towards a peaceful resolution.
President Donald Trump promised to reach the “deal of the century” to end the everlasting Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but his inflammatory move to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem got in the way of any types of peace talks or efforts happening.
The Palestinian Authority believes the US government is acting in bad faith and cannot be trusted with negotiations. The skepticism resulted in the authority planning to reject any plan the White House may come out with, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calling it the “slap of the century,” earlier this year.
The Palestinians have refused to meet with the United States for peace talks since December, when Trump announced the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that the United States would therefore move its embassy to the ancient city, according to The Times of Israel.
Abbas, who did not meet with Kushner or Greenblatt, also protested last month after it was apparent the plan may treat Gaza and the West Bank separately.
Israeli reports earlier this month indicated the plan had been put on hold with tensions between Israel and Gaza on the rise.
After tensions had eased near the border during the past week, an Israeli officer was shot by a Gazan sniper and Israel responded with strikes on Hamas positions, killing three members of the terror group this past Wednesday, according to The Times of Israel.
The administration official said experts were working on finishing up the main parts of the proposal and the economic package, but the official couldn’t provide any specific or further details, The Times of Israel reports.
Past attempts by America to draw up peace plans included proposals and maps dealing with potential land swaps, security guarantees and other issues, but the issues truly at the heart of the ongoing conflicts were never addressed, like with Jerusalem and the Palestinian demand for refugees and their descendants to return to pre-1967 Israel.
There are no indications as of now about whether or not the plans being considered by the current administration would try tackling those deeper and more volatile issues. Trump has said in the past that his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital took the issue “off the table.” Some reports suggest the United States may offer to recognize the Jerusalem suburb Abu Dis as a capital instead of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians demand be the seat of their future state, according to The Times of Israel.
By: Dawn Watkins
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