- Channel 12 news reports, with no source given, that the plan includes Israeli sovereignty not only in all of Jerusalem, but also all 100-plus West Bank settlements, all but 15 of which would be territoriality contiguous.
- But wait, there’s more, like US backing to annex the settlements unilaterally should Israel accept and the Palestinians reject the plan.
- The report also quotes more details, this time sourcing it to unnamed Israelis, such as full border controls and sovereignty over open spaces in the West Bank and the whole Jordan Valley.
- Channel 13 reports that a year-old version of the plan had Israel only getting some 15 percent of the West Bank, but the plan had since “moved to the right.”
- It quotes a White House source calling it “the most pro-Israel plan ever produced or presented,” which is a great way to be seen as a fair dealer.
- “Israel is on the precipice of a historic development on the scale of the Six-Day War that could very well change the borders of the country – if the government makes the necessary decisions,” reports Israel Hayom, which terms the plan a “historic opportunity,” citing Israeli officials.
- It quotes an official saying that if Israel does go ahead with all the annexations the US will okay, it will be a “a death blow to the Palestinian national movement.”
TRUMP: REPORTS ABOUT PEACE PLAN DETAILS ‘PURELY SPECULATIVE’
Trump plan said to give Israel sovereignty throughout Jerusalem, all settlements
TV report: Palestinian state only if PA accepts Israel as Jewish state and Hamas is disarmed; no big refugee influx; if Abbas rejects plan, Israel can start annexing
By TOI STAFF23 Jan 2020
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and US President Donald Trump, right, speak at Ben Gurion International Airport prior to the latter’s departure from Israel on May 23, 2017. (Koby Gideon/GPO)
The Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan — to be presented next week at the White House to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz — provides for full Israeli sovereignty throughout Jerusalem, for Israel to annex all West Bank settlements, and for no significant “return” to Israel of Palestinian refugees, Israeli TV reported Thursday night.
The plan constitutes “the most generous proposal” ever presented to Israel, the report said. US President Donald Trump subsequently dismissed as “purely speculative” reports on the details of the plan and the timing of its release.
It ultimately provides for a Palestinian state but under conditions that no Palestinian leader could conceivably accept, the TV report said. Channel 12 reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas does not know the details of the plan, and that it is regarded in Ramallah as “dead on arrival.” The PA has had no substantive dealings with the US administration since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
Hinting at the imminent unveiling of the plan, US Vice President Mike Pence, who is in Israel for the World Holocaust Forum, said Thursday evening that Trump would host Netanyahu and Gantz next week to discuss the prospect of “peace in the Holy Land.”US Vice President Mike Pence hosts PM Netanyahu at the US Embassy in Jerusalem, January 23, 2020. The meeting was also attended by Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, left, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, right (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Pence made the comments while sitting with Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman at the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Jared Kushner, the president’s Middle East peace envoy, had also been expected in Israel this week, but canceled his visit, citing weather in Davos.
Netanyahu said “the president is seeking to give Israel the peace and security it deserves.” He added, “I suggested that Benny Gantz be invited as well” to the White House.
Setting out the reported specifics of the plan, the TV report said, without specifying a source, that it provides for:
* Israeli sovereignty in all 100-plus West Bank settlements, all but 15 of which would be territoriality contiguous. (An estimated 400,000 Jews live in some 120 official settlements.)
* Israeli sovereignty throughout Jerusalem, including the Old City, with only “symbolic Palestinian representation” in Jerusalem.
* Were Israel to accept the deal, and the Palestinians to reject it, Israel would have US support to begin annexing settlements unilaterally.
* The Palestinians will be granted statehood, but only if Gaza is demilitarized, Hamas gives up its weapons, and the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.US President Donald Trump, left, welcomes visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in Washington, March 25, 2019. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
The TV report quoted unnamed Israeli sources specifying further provisions, including:
* No Palestinian role in any border controls.
* Full Israeli security control in the Jordan Valley.
* Israeli sovereignty in all “open territory” in West Bank’s Area C. The TV report said this amounted to some 30 percent of the West Bank.
* The acceptance of all Israeli security demands.
* Some limited land swaps in which expanded Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank would be exchanged for minor territorial compensation in the Negev.
* Possible minor absorption of Palestinian refugees in Israel; no compensation for refugees.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas listens while US President Donald Trump makes a statement for the press before a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2017, in New York. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)
The TV report quoted the Israeli sources as saying the plan represented an unprecedented offer for Israel. It said Netanyahu has ordered his ministers not to publicly discuss its provisions.
Trump had wanted to unveil the plan for some time, but held off because of Israel’s protracted electoral deadlock, the report said. But he had now decided to wait no longer.
A Channel 13 TV report set out slightly different conditions, but said these were from a year-old version of the plan, which had “since moved to the right.” That earlier plan, it said, provided for Israel to annex some 15% of the West Bank, for the Palestinians to have sovereignty in some East Jerusalem neighborhoods, and for 60 settlement outposts that Israel considers illegal to be evacuated.
It quoted a White House source describing the current plan as “the most pro-Israel plan ever produced or presented.”
Trump himself, tweeting shortly after the Israeli reports, said, “Reports about details and timing of our closely-held peace plan are purely speculative.”Donald J. Trump✔@realDonaldTrump
The United States looks forward to welcoming Prime Minister @Netanyahu & Blue & White Chairman @Gantzbe to the @WhiteHouse next week. Reports about details and timing of our closely-held peace plan are purely speculative.
‘These are historical days – Israel’s borders may change’
The Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century” will open up a historic window of opportunity for the Jewish state, senior Israeli officials say. PA rejects the US initiative, warns of possible security escalation. Israeli security forces brace for violence at Friday morning prayers on Temple Mount.
The Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century” for Israeli-Palestinian peace will open up a historic window of opportunity for the Jewish state, senior Israeli officials said on Thursday night.
US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political rival Benny Gantz would visit Washington next week to discuss the American peace initiative, with Israeli officials saying the terms of the administration’s peace plan include highly favorable terms for Israel.
“We just completed a conversation about plans for next week,” Pence said after meeting the Israeli leader at the US Embassy in Jerusalem. “President Trump asked me to extend an invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu to come to the White House next week to discuss regional issues as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land.”
Netanyahu said he “gladly” accepted the invitation.
According to the senior officials, Israel was on the precipice of a historic development on the scale of the Six-Day War that could very well change the borders of the country – if the government makes the necessary decisions.
If Israel applies its sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria, as the US administration will apparently allow it to do, the officials said, it would mean the end to the idea of a Palestinian state and “a death blow to the Palestinian national movement.”
One Israeli official said the “deal of the century” would essentially not require Israel to make any concessions. According to the information currently available to Israeli officials, for the time being, the US administration doesn’t expect the Israeli government to recognize a Palestinian state, only to express willingness to discuss it in the future, and only if the Palestinians meet the American demands.
As of Friday morning, the Palestinian Authority had not been apprised of the peace plan’s roll-out and PA President Mahmoud Abbas had not been invited to Washington.
Ashraf al-Ajrami, who was the Minister of Prisoners Affairs for the Palestinian Authority between 2007 and 2009, said Friday morning there would be a harsh response from the PA.
“The PA will cease all its commitments under the Oslo Accords; it will also sever security coordination [with Israel]. There could even be an escalation [of violence],” he warned.
A senior Palestinian official close to Abbas told Kan News on Thursday night that the purpose behind unveiling the American peace plan at this juncture was to save Netanyahu politically and strengthen him ahead of the upcoming March 2 general election in Israel.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One en route to the Miami area for a political event, Trump said the Palestinians might react negatively to his plan at first, but that “it’s actually very positive for them.”
“It’s a great plan,” said Trump, who will meet with Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday. “It’s a plan that really would work.”
Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said, “We warn Israel and the US administration not to cross any red lines.”
Trump indicated his administration had spoken “briefly” to the Palestinians and would speak to them again “in a period of time.”
Another PA spokesman said, “We will reject any proposal that violates international law.”
One senior Israeli official said the ball would very soon be in Netanyahu’s court. He will be the one to decide whether to take full advantage of the Trump administration’s expected sovereignty proposal, meaning applying maximal Israeli sovereignty as early as the coming weeks or wait until after the election is decided to begin implementing sovereignty.
With that, Israeli officials were aware that the American initiative could lead to a security escalation in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. Consequently, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday night ordered the IDF and other security services to prepare for any development on the ground. Israeli security forces, Channel 12 News reported, were bracing for unrest following Friday morning prayers on the Temple Mount.
There are also concerns that Jordan will respond harshly to the developments – a matter which Israeli officials said is being handled very delicately.