In the latest American venture, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday unveiled his long-awaited Middle East Peace Plan, in a bid to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The move was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who called it a “vision for peace”.
The Palestinians, however, seem to continue to oppose it, who believe that it favours Israel and is against their goal of building an independent state.
The Middle East Peace Plan proposes to create the State of Palestine with its capital in east Jerusalem while acknowledging the sovereignty of Israel over important settlement blocs in the West Bank.
Donald Trump called his plan a “win-win” for both Israel and the Palestinians, but Palestinian leaders already had rejected it before the US president unveiled it at the White House with Netanyahu.
Trump further said he wanted this to be a “great deal for the Palestinians,” adding that his vision gives the Palestinians the time required to grow and meet the challenges of statehood.
Ahead of the announcement, thousands of Palestinians protested in Gaza City and burnt pictures of Trump and Netanyahu raising banners which read “Palestine is not for sale.”
Prior to this, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had said that he planned to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the plan and invited officials of Hamas, an Islamic militant group which is against Israel. The Wafa news agency had quoted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh calling on Palestinian parties to set their differences aside and unite against the plan.
The Middle East Peace Plan proposed by Donald Trump calls for a freeze in new Israeli settlement construction fr a period of four years, during which, details of a comprehensive agreement would be negotiated. However, it was not clear if the freeze could be extended if a final deal is not concluded in the four years.
Donald Trump said he sent a letter to Abbas to tell him that the territory that the plan has set aside for a new Palestinian state will remain open and undeveloped for four years.
“It’s going to work,” Trump said.
“If they do this, it will work. Your response to this historic opportunity will show the world to what extent you are ready to lead the Palestinian people to statehood," Trump added.
Trump further said: "President Abbas, I want you to know, that if you chose the path to peace, America and many other countries ... we will be there to help you in so many different ways. And we will be there every step of the way.