Trump likely to roll out highly anticipated peace plan after Israel votes

"...Toughest deal of all," says Trump. Economic plan was presented in Bahrain in June.

By REUTERS, JERUSALEM POST STAFF,
August 19, 2019 18:24
2 minute read.

US President Donald Trump said on he would likely wait until after Israel's Sept. 17 elections to release his peace plan.

US President Donald Trump said on he would likely wait until after Israel's Sept. 17 elections to release his peace plan.

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would likely wait until after Israel's Sept. 17 elections to release his peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prepared by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

“I probably will wait, but we may put out pieces of it,” Trump said, explaining that “peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians” is the “toughest deal of all.”

There has been “decades of hate” between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Trump said. “It is tough to make a deal when there is that much hate,” he added.

The first part of Trump’s Middle East peace plan – the economic part – was presented in Manama, Bahrain, in June at the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop led by Kushner. US special envoy Jason Greenblatt also spoke of a proposed $50b. economic development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon within the context of a peace deal.

While dozens of government officials and representatives from around the world took part in the conference – including from Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco – no government representation from Israel or the Palestinian Authority attended and very few Palestinian business people attended.

The PA boycotted the event saying that it was an effort to “bribe” the Palestinians, and Bahrain decided not to invite any Israeli government officials when it became apparent that no PA officials would be on hand.

The PA has repeatedly stated that it has no interest in participating in Trump’s peace plan, even before seeing the political portion which is likely to deal with borders.

The PA is particularly upset with the US over its relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the closure of its Washington offices and its decision to halt annual payments of $500m. in financial assistance.

On Sunday, Trump spoke of his decision to halt the funds, explaining that he believed it would help strengthen US-Palestinian ties in the long run and is one of the reasons that the PA would support the deal at the end of the day. He hinted that eventually the funds would be restored.

“I also cut it [monetary funds] back on the Palestinians because they speak very badly about our country,” Trump said. “We were paying $500,000 million a year. Now we are paying nothing, but I think we are going to get further because I could see opening that up again,” Trump said.

“I think they are going to make a deal and I think one of the reasons they are going to want to make a deal is because of that [the elimination of US financial assistance],” Trump said.

The Yemina Party immediately released a statement saying that Trump’s announcement proved that the election is about one central question, whether the Dan region in the center of the country would turn into the border region for the West Bank.

“Only a large Yemina Party can ensure that a true right-wing government is formed which refuses to give up territory, says ‘no’ to displacing tens of thousands of families from their homes and insists that millions of Israelis won’t become hostages of Hamas,” the party said.

The choice in front of the voters, the party said, is either a large Yemina Party, or a government of concessions from the Left.


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