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Peace between Israel and Palestine missing in Trump plan

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The Israeli-Palestinian draft agreement that Donald Trump will present by Tuesday appears to be a peace plan that has no chance of achieving peace after the United States lost its role as a mediator due to its heavy support for Israel.

This plan, in the minds of the American President, would allow a “final agreement” to be reached between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and none of his predecessors succeeded in achieving this goal. This plan is being prepared since 2017 out of sight under the supervision of his daughter-in-law Jared Kushner.

The process of presenting the plan has been repeatedly delayed due to the Israeli elections, which face obstacles in forming a government.

Why was this timing a month before a new ballot in the Hebrew state?

Dennis Ross, the former US negotiator for the Middle East, replies “because this is not related to peace.”

Aaron David Miller, who played a similar role, says, “Because it is the first peace initiative whose goal has nothing to do with the Israelis and the Palestinians, nor with the peace process, nor with starting negotiations.”

Even the process setting is strange.

Instead of bringing leaders of both sides of the conflict together to present the plan, Donald Trump invited the Oval Office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political opponent in the March 2 poll, Benny Gantz.

On the ground, the Palestinian Authority severed its relationship with Trump when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the end of 2017. This is a shocking decision that was followed by other decisions in the interest of Israel and harms the Palestinians, who now consider that Washington is no longer able to play the role of “neutral mediator.”

– give a push –

Other reasons allow the interpretation of the timing of this announcement.

David Miller, who became an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Institute, said that Kushner’s team wanted to “prove that he really has a plan”, as it would have remained a dead letter for the long wait and with the coming US presidential elections due in November.

In the short term, Ross adds, “everything that could allow a direct shift is welcome” by Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu. The first faces a trial for his dismissal and the second is charged with corruption.

Trump, who hopes to solidify his popularity among evangelical Christian voters who are affected by everything related to Israel, also wants to likely give Netanyahu his “friend”, whose political future is at stake.

“Netanyahu thinks this will put him in a position of strength to remain prime minister in a government of national unity,” added the expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

In the long term, Kushner and the American ambassador to Jerusalem, David Friedman, known for their support for Israel, want to leave a mark, according to these two specialists, by modifying the American position.

This is what they legitimately do: Washington recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights and no longer considers the West Bank “occupied territory” or Israeli settlements “contrary to international law.”

– Two countries? –

All of these are blows to the international consensus adopted decades ago of diplomacy, which the Trump administration considered “ineffective”.

If we do not know much about the content of the plan, observers such as Dennis Ross and Aaron David Miller expect to confirm this trend.

It might give the green light for Israel to annex part of the West Bank and make the Jordan Valley east of the borders of the Hebrew state. And if neighborhoods in East Jerusalem may be placed under Palestinian control, the status of this part of the Holy City as the capital of a future Palestinian state remains uncertain.

Will there be a Palestinian state in the American proposal?

Trump and Kushner have so far refused to use this expression, which is paradoxical to the traditional position of the international community in favor of a “two-state” solution.

Ross expects that if the plan stipulates that a state “that will only be in name and demilitarized” does not live up to the aspirations of the Palestinians wishing to restore all the territories annexed by Israel in 1967.

Supporters of the White House move bet on the relations Kouchner has established with Gulf leaders and informal contacts between some Arab countries and Israel.

They hope that Saudi Arabia will urge the Palestinian Authority to embrace the peace plan and take advantage of its economic split, which was revealed in June with international investments of $ 50 billion over 10 years.

But David Miller “doubts” about such a scenario, and “at best they’ll say + maybe + to please Trump.”

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