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Trump just released his Middle East peace plan – here’s what’s in it

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump meets with then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 5, 2018. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
January 28, 2020

President Donald Trump was joined by  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday to unveil a Middle East peace plan between Israel and Palestine.

The plan would include a two-state solution including a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, which has been a condition requested by Palestinian leaders. The plan would also include a tunnel connecting the West Bank and Gaza.

Trump said the new peace deal represents the first time Israel has authorized a conceptual map of the territorial compromises it would be willing to make with Palestine.

The plan, about 50 pages in total, would more thoroughly detail the specifics of the concessions between Israel and Palestine. Trump said the proposal would not require any Israelis or Palestinians to be moved from their current homes.

Trump also proposed a four year moratorium halting Israeli developments in territories to be allocated to Palestine under the new deal. The four year period would give Palestine the time to study the deal and determine how it would like to proceed.

Trump expressed support for Israel as a working example of democracy in the Middle East, while also expressing sadness for the plight of the Palestinian people. Trump said his plan would achieve the two state solution sought by both parties, while affirming Israel’s concerns about its security.

Trump announced both Netanyahu and his political challenger Benny Gantz had already expressed their support for the proposal. He also expressed thanks to the governments of Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for their work in support of the deal.

Vice President Mike Pence extended the invitation to Netanyahu and then Gantz on Thursday of last week, inviting them to Washington to discuss the new proposal.

Details of the plan, developed by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, have been limited ahead of Trump’s meeting with the Israeli leaders. Kushner was selected to lead the process within months of Trump taking office.

Kushner has reportedly revealed that the deal would require some concessions Israel may not like, but specifics have not been made available ahead of Tuesday’s planned unveiling. On Tuesday, Trump noted many efforts he had made in support of Israel and said that many concessions to Palestine would be warranted in return.

Following Trump’s remarks, Netanyahu spoke in support of the deal.

He thanked Kushner and Trump for their work on the deal.

“The Jewish state owes [Kushner] and it owes President Trump an eternal debt of gratitude,” Netanyahu said.

Even before the deal was revealed, some Palestinian leaders spoke last week to reject the proposal outright, and thus far Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has not joined the effort to negotiate the peace deal.

Mahmoud al-Aloul, the vice chairman of Palestine’s ruling Fatah party, said the U.S. had sent at least 10 invitations for the Palestinian authority to take part in the peace negotiations. He said all of the invitations were rejected.

“They want to be able to say that they have our input,” Aloul said. “But [Trump] is not doing this to help us, but to help his friend Netanyahu in his campaign.”

It remains to be seen if the Palestinian Authority will ultimately come around to the agreement.