Century deal facts … the 7 most important items in Trump’s Middle East plan

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US President Donald Trump proposed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it contained strict conditions that the Palestinians immediately declared rejected.

Called “peace for prosperity,” Trump’s plan addresses core issues in the decades-old conflict that has hampered peacemaking, such as borders, refugees, security, the status of Jerusalem, and Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Here are some highlights of these issues, according to “Reuters”:

Two states

Trump’s plan to set a four-year time frame for the establishment of a Palestinian state requires that the Palestinians first agree to stop the attacks by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) that controls the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians must establish institutions of government in order to establish their state, which is likely to be similar to the current Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule over parts of the West Bank.

The Palestinian state will include strips of land in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean coast, and two strips of land in the Negev desert in southern Israel. The West Bank and Gaza Strip, 40 km apart, will be connected to a tunnel. The Palestinian capital will be established in several towns on the borders of East Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be an “undivided capital” for Israel.

Security

Israel will maintain “the overall responsibility for security of the Palestinian state”, including the international border crossings of the State of Palestine.

The division and planning in the border areas between Israel and Palestine “will be subject to the overall security responsibility of the State of Israel.”

Israel will maintain control of the “airspace and electromagnetic spectrum west of the Jordan River.”

And the Palestinian state will not be allowed to form an army or conclude security or intelligence agreements with any state or organization that could negatively affect Israel’s security.

Israel will reserve the right to “enter” the state of Palestine to ensure that it “remains demilitarized and does not constitute a threat.”

Borders and Ports

Trump’s plan calls for putting the Jordan Valley, which represents about 30 percent of the occupied West Bank, under Israeli control. The Jordan Valley, which separates the West Bank from Jordan, will become part of Israel’s eastern border.

The Palestinian state will be allowed to use the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod on the Mediterranean.

The plan proposes the establishment of an “industrial island” off the coast of Gaza, which will serve a Palestinian port and airport.

Settlements and land exchange

Israel will be free to annex its settlements in the West Bank, and it will not have to remove any of them. The Palestinians and most of the world view the settlements as illegal under international law, a position Israel and the United States oppose.

The plan raises the possibility of annexing several Israeli Arab groupings along the West Bank borders to the Palestinian state.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem will be the “undivided” “sovereign” capital of Israel.

The Palestinian capital will be located in the urban expansion area to the north and east of the security barrier that Israel built through East Jerusalem more than ten years ago during the last Palestinian intifada.

The Palestinians reject any proposal that does not include establishing a capital for them in all of East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City and many places sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians.

The wall will “serve as a border between the two capitals of the two sides.”

Palestinians who live on the Israeli side of the fence can become citizens of the State of Israel or the state of Palestine, or instead reserve “permanent residence” in Israel.

As for the status quo of the Temple Mount, it “must continue as is.”

Jordan will maintain its role in overseeing the sanctuary.

Gaza

Israel will have to “fulfill its obligations” under the plan in the event that the Palestinian Authority or any other body accepted by Israel takes over the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and returns all Israeli prisoners and remains held there.

If Hamas wants to play a role in the Palestinian government, it must recognize Israel and pledge to renounce violence and accept previous agreements concluded between Israel and the Palestinians.

Refugees

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians became refugees in the aftermath of the 1948 war that accompanied the establishment of Israel. Their descendants were scattered across the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Trump’s plan does not require that any refugees be “entitled to return” to Israel.

Refugees will be allowed to “absorb” in a Palestinian state at a rate that does not overwhelm the state of Palestine and does not “increase security risks to the state of Israel.”

If an agreement is signed between the two sides, the situation of the Palestinian refugees will end, and the responsibilities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees will be transferred to the “concerned governments”.



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