'Deal of the Century' will not include Palestinian statehood - report

According to "The Washington Post," comments from Kushner and other US officials suggest that "the plan does away with statehood as the starting premise of peace efforts."

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April 15, 2019 16:52
2 minute read.

Mahmoud Abbas on Trump's 'deal of the century', April 15, 2019 (Reuters)

Mahmoud Abbas on Trump's 'deal of the century', April 15, 2019 (Reuters)

 
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The Trump administration's peace plan, known as the "deal of the century" will reportedly include "practical proposals" for improving the lives of Palestinians, but it will probably stop short of recommending the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel, The Washington Post reported Monday night.

The deal is expected to be published soon, following more than two years in which it was formulated by a small group of special envoys of US President Donald Trump’s, including special representative Jason Greenblatt and senior advisor Jared Kushner.

According to the Post report, comments from Kushner and other US officials suggest that "the plan does away with statehood as the starting premise of peace efforts" as it has been over the last 20 years or so.

The report goes on to quote several people who have spoken to Kushner's team as saying that "Kushner and other US officials have linked peace and economic development to Arab recognition of Israel and acceptance of a version of the status quo on Palestinian 'autonomy,' as opposed to 'sovereignty.'"

“What we’ve tried to do is figure out what is a realistic and what is a fair solution to the issues here in 2019 that can enable people to live better lives,” Kushner said in a rare interview with Sky News Arabia, as he sought Arab support on a visit to the region in February.

“We believe we have a plan that is fair, realistic and implementable that will enable people to live better lives,” a senior White House official said Friday. “We looked at past efforts and solicited ideas from both sides and partners in the region, with the recognition that what has been tried in the past has not worked. Thus, we have taken an unconventional approach founded on not hiding from reality, but instead speaking truth.”

Although Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the US is biased, one of his chief advisers reportedly said they would not reject Trump's plan outright.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to consider the plan, which Trump emphasized "will ask concessions of both sides," The Washington Post reported.

Kushner has described the plan as having four pillars: freedom, respect, security and opportunity for all parties involved.

In an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan responded to the Post's report about the deal of the century, saying that "if the American administration understands that the idea of ​​a Palestinian state has no justification, feasibility, or chance, this is significant news."

Meanwhile, a letter published in The Guardian by former EU officials, including six prime ministers and 25 foreign ministers, called for postponing the "deal of the century" because it is unfair to the Palestinians.

In the letter, which was sent to the European Union and EU governments, the former leaders argue that Europe must stand by the two-state solution and condemn the Trump administration's policy, which they claim is unilaterally in favor of Israel.

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